Green Means Go

Forgive me, for the following will probably read like an angsty teen diary. Except it’ll be about query letters.

Guys! I’ve started sending query letters for The Fields!

Let’s pretend that it’s not 12 days after the deadline I gave myself, okay?

I’ve sent four today. Four tiny little queries. I’d say that’s a good start, seeing as how I pick and fuss over every damn one of those submissions as if it’s a rocketship about to shoot off into space to investigate a new planet. One little typo, and BOOM.

I thought all I would feel once I started this process was relief, or satisfaction that I’ve finally gotten this far, but instead I mostly feel heart palpitations. You’d think the stressful part of writing a book would be the writing part… nope. For me, it’s the waiting.

Did you know that some literary agents state right up front that they may not get back to you for three months? If at all? I’m staring down into an abyss called Sam’s Impatience, and it is so, so vast. I wish there was a way to forget that I’ve sent any queries — just wipe the memory straight from my brain — because then, in the infinitesimal circumstance that someone actually responds positively, I can be pleasantly surprised… instead of feeling like I’m unwrapping a bomb every godforsaken day that I check my email. It hasn’t even been a full 24 hours since I sent my first query, and I already feel exhausted from trying not to be too hopeful.

It’ll get better, right?

It’s a weird feeling. Because I don’t think I have any false sense of grandeur, so I don’t expect the growing pile of queries that I have sent and will continue to send for the next couple of weeks to actually amount to anything other than, well, a pile full of unanswered mail… I mean, I like my story, but just thinking about how many other queries may have been sent today just makes me a little bit nauseated. Yet, I still know that expectant little twinge will be there every time I think about the manuscript, and I know that I’ll still be bummed out every time I get rejected.

Also, synopses are THE WORST. I don’t regret putting those words in all caps because of how true it is. Hello, I’ve just written a 63,000 word novel, and now I have to squeeze it into 500. I left entire subplots out; I left entire characters out. Poor characters. I want them to be involved, because they are still, no matter how to-the-point that synopsis may be, an integral part of the story. Damn that synopsis. That synopsis better win an agent’s heart over, that’s all I can say, because it certainly hasn’t won my heart.

I think to some extent everyone has the hope that their work will produce some sort of fruit in the end. It’s hope that gets us through the day, that gets us to actually accomplish anything. If not for hope, I’d probably still have an unfinished manuscript just sitting on a hard drive, waiting to be accidentally deleted. But man, does hope suck when there’s nothing left to accomplish but the art of patience. If hope is a driving factor, then I’m basically gonna be stuck at a stop light for a while until somebody gives me the go-ahead to keep on driving, or turn around and go home.

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