It’s Finally Started

After who knows how long, I’ve finally taken the great leap that all serious novelists must take at some point in their writing careers.  I’ve begun sending out query letters.  Yes, for those who aren’t writers, or who aren’t novelists, this may seem like no real big deal, but believe me, for novelists, this is a huge deal.  Why?  I’ve thought about that a lot over these past few days as I’ve begun the process.  Here’s what I’ve determined:

  • It’s a time investment. I see submitting to agents and publishers as a “job search” for novelists.  Each one has different requirements, be it what they want to see from authors.  So far, I’ve submitted two query letters and one complete manuscript.  Other publishers I’m looking at for this particular novel also want a proposal package.
  • It’s an emotional investment. I Novelists view their product as a work of art, and believe me when I say that I’m no exception to that.  I’ve poured countless hours into not only the creation of the novel I’m submitting but also the refining of the novel through editing.  So it’s no wonder that I’m emotionally invested in my work.
  • It’s a scary step. Once again, those who aren’t writers may scoff at this, but really, think about it.  When we job hunt and spend hours creating resumes and honing our interview skills, it can actually be kind of intimidating.  That’s even more so with writers.  You see, writers invest a deep part of them in their work.  So when we send queries and proposals to publishing houses or agents, we’re letting a stranger judge how good we are based on the work we submit.  To be honest, that’s really scary.
  • It’s a pride thing. It’s good to take pride in our work–at least until we start treating our work like an idol.  That keeps us going and allows us to hone our skills as writers or whatever our trade may be.  However, we novelists and writers in general also need to keep grounded and remind ourselves that we need to remain teachable.  There’s a fine line between remaining teachable through editing from an agent or publisher and allowing someone to step all over us.  It’s a constant balance between a tough exterior and a tender heart.  Also, it’s important to realize that it’s easy to allow our work to take higher precedence than it should in our lives.
  • Getting work on the street means putting off new work. We as writers need to remember that it’s okay to delay work because no one else will put out the queries, at least not without requiring compensation, most likely.  Besides, sending out queries and proposals forces us to edit, edit, edit, and that’s a good skill to keep honing.  The time will come for new work.

So as I start this process, I need to constantly remind myself that:

  • God gave me the talent to write.  I’m good at it.  If someone doesn’t like it, that’s fine.  It’s an opinion.
  • If God wants my work to get published, He’ll clear the way as He sees fit.
  • Writing allows me the chance to use my God-given gifts, and I need to honor that.
  • I need to remain persistent no matter what happens

So will I get published?  That remains to be seen.  My hope is that I will keep everyone informed.  In the meantime, I’ll do my part and then sit back and watch as God does His.

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