I had a conversation with a friend the Thursday night. Since I’m planning on posting a review of one of her books soon, I asked her for the media kit. Her response was thanks. Then she offered, “When you get ready this summer, I’ll help you with your query letter.”
I read that sentence and froze, panic bubbling up my throat. No, I couldn’t be ready his sumer to query. I’m no where near ready to query. Even now when I’m typing, I hear a frantic voice in the back of my head chanting ‘no, no, no, not ready!’ I see so much wrong in my novel that it’s not ready to see the light of day by someone who pays for books to publish.
Yes, I am rewriting substantial chunks of it to fix errors. I am polishing away at it constantly. I find ideas that I have clear in my head which are muddy on the page. But for each paragraph I fix, I see four more pop up that need attention. I feel like I’m playing Whack-A-Mole with an infinite number of moles.
These are just the problems I see. I know there are more lurking on the pages, invisible to me. But I want to see them, want to weed them out, want to hand in a manuscript that is absolutely perfect.
Realistic? Of course not. Will I try to get as close as I can to that ideal? Yes. Will I achieve it? Hell no! Will I ever feel the story is truly ready? Probably not.
Then there is my fear of rejection. Oddly enough I can go on stage in a masquerade without fear of rejection. The thought of querying an agent or a publisher leaves me cold. I know that rejection is part and parcel of being a writer. I know that my plan leaves open the option of self-publishing. The only reason I’m not jumping right away to self-publishing is that there will always be a little voice in the back of my head wondering ‘what if’ unless I attempt to query. I also know that there will be rejections. There will always be rejections.
But if I let my fear of rejection keep me from querying, I will never be accepted. So I need to take a deep breath, screw my courage to the sticking-place, and let go of my manuscript.
After at least another two passes.