Well, I think that does it! We’ve covered everything there is to know about querying an agent. Did I miss something? Is there something you would like covered? Do you have any questions about the writing process you would like to discuss? I’m open to suggestions, so please let me know.
There’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately, and I was wondering if anyone else had gone through it in the course of their writing career. As those of you who follow my blog know, I’ve finished four novels and have maybe six more that I started and didn’t finish (from the early days of my writing). I’ve written five picture books as well. I’ve yet to land an agent, despite receiving interest. Currently, my most recent novel is making the rounds with the agents; and I’ve been wondering; what do I do if it doesn’t pan out again? Other then being a wife and a mother, writing and being a successful author has been, and continues to be, my biggest dream. But there’s no sugar-coating it; breaking into the publishing world is hard. Sometimes, I feel like it’s impossible. So what do I do?
It takes me an hour and a half to type 1200 words (on a good day). That means that it’s taken me at least 250 hours to type just my four finished manuscripts. Revising those manuscripts more than doubles that total, probably taking it to about 700 hours. That’s like working 17 ½ weeks for no pay, no agent, nothing except for improving my writing with each finished manuscript. And yes, that improvement is huge and important, but if I can never land an agent or a publishing contract, it’s still for nothing.
Yes, I enjoy writing, making up worlds, and living vicariously through my characters. But I’m nothing if not honest, and honestly, I want other people to read and enjoy my work. That’s why I’m really doing it. And so I have to ask myself; why do I put myself through the stress, and the worry, and the rejection over and over, if there is the potential that I will never have anything to show for it? There are some easy answers here, but I don’t think they’re the truth. The truth is; I don’t know.
Hope plays a big part in it, and also the unwillingness to see my dreams die, but I can’t come up with an explanation other than that. I could give it up and be content being a wife and mother; I know I could. But a small part of me would also die. As I sit here, waiting to hear back from the agents who have my manuscript (three fulls and four partials!) a part of me is contemplating all of this and wondering; if this doesn’t work out, do I have it in me to start all over again? Honestly, I’m not sure. I want to say yes, my heart says yes, but my brain says I might just be wasting my time. I feel like the two parts of myself are at war with each other, and at this point, I’m not quite sure who’s going to win.