Once More Unto The Breach, Dear Friends

After writing, editing, preening, tearing apart, putting back together, reworking, tightening, tearing apart again, re-writing, adding scenes, ripping out chapters, polishing and perfecting for two years – it’s time! Time to face the query trenches and send ‘Shadows’ out into the world. Time to write to agents and publishers and ask them to please, please, please like my work. Time to wait, the often months, for a response to query emails. Time to hope that someone out there will love ‘Shadows’ and want to take it on.

Batten down the hatches people and cue the crazy!

If you’re walking past your local café and see a girl in the corner continuously tapping her phone to refresh her email, rocking back and forth as she does so, even though she’s only just sent the first batch of queries and there’s no possible way anyone could have responded yet, that’ll probably be me. If the girl standing beside you jumps when her email alert sounds, but she’s too frightened to check the very email she’s been waiting hours/weeks/months for because what if it’s a rejection and at least if she doesn’t open the email she can still pretend there’s hope, that’ll probably be me. If tales reach you of a girl wandering her house at two in the morning, checking her email when she’s up checking her daughter’s blood sugars, because, you know, it’s entirely possible an agent may be up at that time of night emailing her because they couldn’t put her manuscript down, that’ll probably be me.

crazy writer

If you hear muffled sighs and sobbing coming from a girl because she just got yet another rejection from someone she really thought would be a good match for her novel, that’ll probably be me. If you hear gasps of surprised joy when a girl gets a request from someone she thought was a long shot but she shot them a query anyway, that’ll probably be me. If those gasps of joy turn to groans of despair when the long shot doesn’t pay off in the end and what was she thinking believing that it might, that’ll probably be me. If you notice a girl trying to distract herself from refreshing her emails by starting on her next novel even though it’s hard to focus and maybe she’ll check her email just one more time before she starts writing, that’ll probably be me.


If you see a girl shifting from total self-belief, to abject self-doubt, back to self-belief, back to self-doubt, again and again and again and again over the next few months while she consumes an excessive amount of Malteasers, that’ll definitely be me.

bleed typwriter

Once more unto the query trenches, dear friends. Let’s hope I’m still standing at the end.


Thanks for reading! To return to the FICTION WRITERS BLOG HOP on Julie Valerie’s Book Blog, click here: http://www.julievalerie.com/fiction-writers-blog-hop-sep-2015

20 thoughts on “Once More Unto The Breach, Dear Friends

  1. Léonie C Kelsall

    Nice post Sandie – and good luck!
    When it comes down to it, we’re all investing in the right to dream.
    Every submission sent is a ticket in the lottery, every rejection a stinging slap to the face, firming and toning muscles.
    With the despair of rejection comes the right to aspiration.
    We are beyond fortunate; we, at least, have a dream.

    1. sandiedocker Post author

      I hope one day you get the chance, Corinna.
      I’m sure you that “once more unto the breach…” is from Shakespeare’s Henry V. Every time I think of Shakespeare, I think of you and our trip to the Globe and Patrick (check out the DoG year book if you’ve forgotten!)
      Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Julie Valerie @Julie_Valerie

    “…that’ll probably be me!”

    That line made me laugh all the way through the blog post. So funny! And unfortunately, so true! You’ve explained the insane truth behind what it feels like to have queries out to agents. Ugh! Such a wild ride.

    MY VERY BEST WISHES TO YOU!!! (And please, find time to write.)


    1. sandiedocker Post author

      So bloomin’ wild!
      I’m keen to start on my next MS, so no fear, there’ll be time to write. Although I might have to learn to surf from a hot Brazilian as ‘research’ for it…

  3. Brea Brown

    Congrats on finishing your novel (most importantly!) and good luck with the queries. I’m sure the world would love to read your book, anyway, agent or no agent, publisher or no publisher. If you decide to strike out on your own, know there’s an incredible support system out here for Indies. No matter what you decide is best for your work, keeping your great sense of humor about it will be critical. Thanks for the laughs!

    1. sandiedocker Post author

      Aww, thanks Brea. I’ll admit ‘indie’ scares me a bit (I read Monique’s post) and I lack confidence to strike out on my own – at least for now. Who knows where this journey will lead though?

      You gotta laugh, right? As you said in your post – always find the funny. Last time round with previous ms, I got a rejection from one agent 15 months (yes, 15) after I queried and they asked if I wanted my material back. I certainly did laugh at that one.

  4. Krystal Jane

    That’s the best Snoopy cartoon ever!
    And this: “If you see a girl shifting from total self-belief, to abject self-doubt, back to self-belief, back to self-doubt, again and again and again and again…” yes and yes and yes!

    I’m so excited for you, Sandie!! Rather you collapse from joy or nervousness, we’ll all be here to pull you back again. Best of luck with this!! Seriously, feel free to bug me anytime you need a distraction. 🙂


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