Friday, July 23, 2010
Do the Thing You Fear and the Death of Fear is Certain
Then there is the query. Does it reveal too much or too little? Will the agent "get" my story idea; will they love the characters like I do? We cut and paste and show it to our blog buddies. We stare at the one page we're allowed to send. Our hopes go will go with this one-page herald...our sweat and tears. But you have to send it, for it to do any good. My old writers group had a lady that spent months on a query she never sent out. Her reason? She was afraid if she took that step, the one that opened her up to rejection, that the result would be devastating. She loved writing. She didn't want to quit. Fear.
Proposals are hard to put together. There’s market analysis and author bios to wrangle into place. We have to include marketing ideas and why we're qualified to write this particular book. Its intimidating. It can seem overwhelming. Then there are the three chapters or the fifty pages we're allowed to send. They must be perfect, so we go back to our revision loop and agonize over every adverb and comma. We're afraid they won't ask for more.
Waiting, for me, is the hardest part of writing. Waiting to hear back on the queries I sent. Waiting to hear back from my proposal packages. Waiting. Waiting. Will they want the full manuscript? Have I missed their email? What if they all say no? Do I keep writing this series? This genre? Fear.
Then you get an agent and it all starts again. He sent your proposal out to the editors and now we're waiting again. What if you get too many rejections? Will you be dropped by the agency? Will they keep trying? Should I write something vastly different to show my range?
Say you're picked up by the publisher...will they spend enough on marketing? What if you don't sell like they wanted? The list goes on and on and on...And yet we do it anyway. We type and fret and hope desperately.
Why do we do this to ourselves?
Because to not write is the worst thing I can imagine. To not slip into that wonderful world that blinks to life when my fingers hit the keys would mean a life less extraordinary. Fear may cause me to hesitate, but never to turn back. I encourage all of you to send out your queries and proposals. Give them a kiss and slip them through the mail slot...the worst that could happen is you never did it.
Another compelling character waits on the fringes of your mind to be written; another world. This one comes more easily...the story more vivid. Glance over your shoulder at the fear you shed and trampled on the road to better things....Now Go Write!
Photograph by The 5th Ape.