Friday, March 25, 2011

The worry and hope of waiting

Querying is, I imagine, a lot like fishing with a makeshift rod on a deserted island. All the joy of an activity you might otherwise have enjoyed is lost in the desperate need for a bite on the end of the line. 

Don't get me wrong, as I always tell my art students when faced with anxiety or doubt over a particular piece of work, it is a privilege for aesthetic or creative problems to be the biggest cause of stress, so suck it up sunshine. The majority of the human race living or dead spend their lives trying to keep their family fed and warm, and here I am worried about whether an agent in NY likes a book I wrote for other middle class males.

Even a starving fisherman is better off than the crab about to be eaten, but all these things mean little when you check your carefully programed cross-referenced gmail-filtered inbox-folders and "agent query" is empty.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

one month in....

So yesterday I began the second push towards publishing and found the way cursed.

Last year's attempt left me feeling battered and yet hopeful. It was clear that my 155 thousand manuscript was not going to get any agent's attention, and so I was spurred on to re-draft the thing from beginning to end.

I killed words like mosquitos, and whole chapters fell away like the burnt bits from roasted marshmallows.

I finished this draft early feb, but have sat on it, wanting friends to read it first -- get feedback from my allies before I let it cross into enemy lines. But people are busy.

So yesterday I took the plunge and instead of mass sending my new query I took a tentative step towards one agency that I liked the look of, and an agent there whose tastes seamed to match my own.

But oh! the horror! After so long and so many drafted pitch lines and plot summaries, I sent a query with an old version of a characters name in the last paragraph.  Aside from looking unprofessional, the agent in question made a point of reminding hopeful authors to check for this very kind of foolishness, and here I was, stumbling at the gate. Sigh.

I can only hope this is overlooked, and that the follow up email I sent in a desperate attempt to undo the evil I had unwittingly unleashed will not be looked at as the rambling, fumbling, stuttering rant that it was.



"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." - Mark Twain

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


So it turns out a manuscript can be alive when it is being written, edited, worried about or read. When none of those are happening, however, one starts to doubt the previous conviction of one's status as a writer.

I'm telling myself I am simply having a break from the process and that this time is important to decide the next course of action; namely, to seek representation or self publish. The truth is I am mostly just scared.