After one of those weeks where I had a multiple doctor appointments and queried agents I wonder what I ever did wrong in life. Why? Well, strangely neither the doctor appointments nor querying agents is much fun.
Querying is nerve wracking. Before I hit the send button I am convinced that this agent is the one. This agent will see the diamond that’s my manuscript. They’ll take a chance on a slightly controversial topic and sign me as a client. All my hopes are up, and my dreams are gonna come true finally. I’m gonna get that agent of my dreams. (Which, sadly, is just an agent who loves my manuscripts as much as I do.) I dust off my questions I’ve come up with for anyone who offers me representation. I make sure I’ve got tweets and blog posts ready for the partial request, full request, and the offer of representation.
Then I press the send button and the doubts creep up. Is the query letter the best it can be? Why the heck would anyone take a chance on me? Who do I think I am? No one wants to read my stuff. (Present company not included in that statement, but these doubts do run through my mind.) Was the query enough to wet their appetite? Is my query buried in the slush pile? Did the agent or his/her assistants even read my query before it landed in the slush pile? Should I redo my query? Is my book title strong enough? Why am I even querying agents? How dumb can I be thinking I can get an agent and become published?
As those doubts swirl in my mind, I start obsessing over my email. Only a few people use that email. It’s mainly for agents. Every time I get an email I jump thinking this might be the moment. Someone realized I’m a writer. And then the crash comes when I realize, no, it isn’t an agent. It’s my daily post on the blog. Because little ol’ me thought I should make sure the daily post updates were going out and so I signed up for a copy. Uh huh, smart idea.
But that means I might get an agent still. Off to Query Tracker and a glance at how long it took others to hear back about their chances with an agent. More obsessiveness happens as I write down the average and compare the time it took the agent to respond with “Yes” versus “No.” (It is usually less time with a positive response for some stupid reason.)
A full hour hasn’t passed, and I get my first rejection from the batch of queries. Depression sets in for a bit. (Can I blame it on pregnancy?) The agent didn’t even take an hour to reject me! How bad must I be if I get rejected in less than an hour? My query must suck! It’s horrible. No one in their right mind is gonna ever take me on! And that agent usually doesn’t respond if they don’t like you! Yep, I’m an idiot for this whole “I can be an author” dream! I can’t even get past the query letter stage!
This is where my general practitioner called me to mention that the OB/GYN is a (redacted word) and I shouldn’t listen to the idiot. My fever wasn’t low grade. Low grade is 101F, not 107F. Menegitis is indeed a problem for the pregnancy and the fetus, and we’re lucky that neither of us were lost. What the heck does the SOB want my medical file for if he doesn’t f-ing read it? And he wants to test my iron count? His lab can’t even get my blood type right! (I’m not kidding! My general practitioner hates the OB/GYN, and then mentions he is the best in town, which is really, really, really sad.) She also mentions that posting on Facebook how long it took the OB/GYN to show up for the appointment wasn’t right. It should have been on Twitter with his name attached! And I need to show up at her office, because the latest iron count was sad and pathetic. Oh, and by the way, one of the old-folks doctors at the practice would really be thrilled if he could see my manuscript because he’s enthralled with the chapter I wrote last week in the office. Please?
Yep, just what I needed. A shot of confidence. Who knew doctors stocked those shots? Okay, so agents don’t like my query letters. Someone actually likes my writing. Too bad he’s a doctor, and you know just one of the book buying public, not an agent. Though I do wonder if I could add that to my query letter? “My general practitioner’s practice is all in love with Alexandria’s Odyssey and would love to see Alexandria’s story in print.” Probably not gonna get an agent’s attention.
So starts the whole process of doctor appointments and querying agents once more with a brand new week. And once more I am curious as to what I ever did to deserve such lovely treatment from both!