Many times throughout this querying process, I’ve considered the possibility that this blog, and even more so, leadme.org, could be a hindrance to my attempts to find representation. Leadme, obviously because of its content, which can make some uncomfortable. This one, well, because I think I come off as a whiny bitch a little too often.
Back when I finally came to the conclusion that this blog should be a diary of my attempts to get published, I hadn’t really considered how it might look to prospective representation. Instead, I just feared the idea of being honest about how I was feeling about things such as finding representation. And that’s one of the things that pushed me forward in actually doing it.
I’ve long had an issue with honesty. Growing up in a relatively WASP-like home, emotions weren’t really something that you talked about, much less expressed. I remember fighting in public areas with a high school girlfriend and feeling the need to pretend nothing was wrong when anyone came within viewing or hearing distance.
I was all about presentation, needing to present myself as this happy little package all the time. I think this is one of the things that caused me to battle depression so often (well, and still fight it, to be honest). So, when I realized that the main reason I didn’t want to do it was merely fear of showing how I really felt about such things, I realized I had to do it.
Now, sure, an aspiring artist whining about how no one loves him isn’t anything new. I know that the posts on here aren’t all that exciting. However, I don’t do this for the reader. That reader, of course, being my wife, and the few agents that have popped on here. I do it for the reason blogging exists in the first place, it’s a diary (journal, dammit!). In a diary, you have to be honest. When I do finally land that agent and I get that offer and that book finally gets printed and reviewed and all that other horrible and awesome stuff happens along the way and afterwards, I want to have this to look back on.
Plus, when all that does happen, and other aspiring authors come across my name and want to look up my story, I want them to see the real story. Not to scare them off from the emotional rollercoaster that is the selling process, but to prepare them.
I had no preparations when I began writing. I went to some author blogs, many author blogs. I didn’t see the pain before the agent, I didn’t see the angst of trying to figure out what’s wrong, I just saw “HEY I”VE GOT AN AGENT!!! LOL 😀 YAY!” and I figured it must be easy.
There are easily 15 zillion other people out there trying to go after those same agents with their own books on all too similar topics of zombies, vampires, wizards, and Abraham Lincoln. They might not be any better than you, but you have to stand out. Standing out is hard when you have absolutely nothing to cause you to stand out other than a manuscript. I should know. . . that’s where I am.
So, that brings me back to the fear I keep coming back to regarding this blog. What if an agent is slightly interested, finds this blog, and then sees me only as a whiny bitch instead of the incredibly geeky nerd that I am who is really excited his daughter can name over 75% of the characters on her new Star Wars shirt?
I don’t know. . . I guess that’s the risk I take. In this world where I feel so insecure about what I’m doing, not knowing whether or not I should continue, constant planning to quit, crying in the shower because I got another rejection letter, I need something. I need to know it’s all worthwhile. Now, obviously it’s worthwhile because it’s the trip to actually landing an agent. But these emotions .. . I can’t just let them be hidden, can I?
When I began querying for Buddy Hero, I was so afraid of putting a bad face out there that I wasn’t all that honest on here throughout the process. I figured that if an agent were to find it, I would want it to be a place where I could convince them to move faster, or that other people were interested, or, well, whatever, to get a leg up.
This isn’t for the agents.
So, I promise to be as honest on here as possible throughout this new querying process. And to start, I’m going to tell you that it has been damned hard these past few weeks. I’ve only received 8 rejections out of the 35 queries I have sent. That’s not bad. And at least 3 of those were probably due to the errors in my query letter (as mentioned in previous post). The book fair in Bologna just ended, so most of these agents aren’t even in their slush piles yet. But I can’t stand it.
I don’t feel like the whiny bitch anymore, like I felt during Buddy’s query times. I feel much more confident. But that doesn’t make this any more nerve wracking. No matter what I do, I can’t stop thinking about whether or not I will ever get any good news. Because, of course, no matter how confident you are in a product, until you actually get the good news, it’s not good news. . .
I’ve already battled three cases of depression, where I just couldn’t do anything, and I am finally to the point where I refuse to deal with that any more. But I still sit. . . waiting for an e-mail. Checking my computer as often as possible. Dragging out my time in front of it, hoping that I might get something before I break free.
And, that’s only the start. Once I finally do get a request for materials, then comes the battle of waiting it out for a response back on those. And that can take months, if not longer. Which puts me, at this exact moment, in an odd combination of emotions. Excitement. . . and dread.
Ahead of me, no matter how good things might go, is just a ton of waiting. I don’t like that. But, it’s what one must do to do what I do. So, years from now, when I am sitting in my library surrounded by hard bound versions of my tales wondering why I’m not happy (God let’s hope I’ll be happy. . . ) I can look back here, and see how things used to be. The pseudo-struggle of trying to find an agent who cares.
Fingers are, as always, crossed.