Well, I’ve done it. I’ve officially put another manuscript baby out into the world by submitting my first batch of queries.
I’ve talked a lot about querying on this blog, about the pitfalls, the anxiety, the pain, and trying to stay positive throughout the whole heart-shattering process. But, can I be honest with you for a minute? Embarrassing, bare-my-soul, please tell me you can relate, honest?
I was more scared to send queries out on this manuscript than I ever have been. I was not positive. I was not hopeful. I was not optimistic. I was literally sick with worry (okay, so maybe it was just a coincidence I got sick, but it didn’t feel like it).
And it’s not because I didn’t think my manuscript was good. I’ve been querying for years, and it’s given me a not-so-pleasant serving of humble pie but–also a moment of honesty–this was the first time I’d typed “the end” and felt I had created something good. My soul was in this one. I had poured every ounce of myself into this story, and I knew it was the best it could be. My other manuscripts were an exploration, a product of determination and skill. This one…this one was my heart.
So why was I so scared?
I’m scared I’ve put everything I could into this manuscript and it’s still not going to be good enough to get me through the door. I’ve been living and breathing these characters for a year, fighting with them, hurting with them, rooting for them. They are my babies, and this manuscript is so very, very personal….and what if it still isn’t any good? What if the rejections keep piling up? I queried my first manuscript for three years. My second for a year. And I still do not have an agent. I still am not published. My heart has been broken more times than I can count but I kept moving forward because something inside was telling me this manuscript was different.
But what if it isn’t?
If this one doesn’t move my career forward, can I possibly do any better? Do I have the energy to try again? Do I have the guts to take a chance on getting my dream crushed again?
This junction feels very ‘make or break.’
And what if I break?