My self-imposed query deadline is October 1st.
That’s the date that I have to send ONE LETTER by. If another letter doesn’t leave by November, that’s ok. Will I actually make said deadline? We’ll see. If I don’t, I won’t beat myself up over it. After all, it’s a self-imposed deadline. I don’t want to send a letter just to send it, especially if I’m not ready with one or more of the components.
I have finished formatting my manuscript for query–side note: that was one of the most stressful things I have ever done. Putting headers in on MS Word, anyone? It’s a wonder I still have hair left. Today I began the final readthrough before I put my manuscript aside and fight the urge to mess with it any more. After that, I need to research my list of 43 agents/agencies for exact info on what they want in query.
I think I might be insane for trying to make this deadline.
I can honestly admit that this query process absolutely terrifies me. I know rejection is a real–and expected–thing. I’m prepared for that. What’s throwing me is the opposite: what if I get accepted? What then? Contracts. Compromises. Publisher’s deadlines.
That last one scares me the most. I wouldn’t say I’m a turtle writer, but there are times during the year (summer vacation, for the most part) where I get little to no writing done. My son is home, and before I’m a writer, I’m Mom…and he gets my attention from June to September. It has taken me a little less than two years from first sentence written to cut-and-polished manuscript. That’s a long time. That’s four drafts, countless edits, and eight weeks of sitting on my hands waiting for test reader feedback to return. I’m really worried that if I get picked up, a publisher will want the second and third books to be totally completed much quicker. It’s just not something I think I can do–and have the end result be what I need it to be. The other two books in the trilogy are heavily outlined, but I still don’t think I could ever crank one out in a year-ish.
But, I’m getting ahead of myself. I have to get picked up first!
So, here’s to all of us who are terrified of querying, spend weeks agonizing over their letters (starting to do that here), and who (hopefully) eventually see success in their adventures.
Did I mention I’m terrified?