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