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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Did She or didn't She?




It's the first Wednesday of the month and time for IWSG.  To ready more posts, click here.

I’ve been playing mind games with myself.  Query letter, check.  Synopsis, check .  Edit by the AP English guru, check.  Requisite waiting period before reading manuscript again? Check.  Another wait, this one over-kill?  Check.  

In short, I inched my way toward ready.

I researched Publisher’s Market Place and Query Tracker, and read submission guidelines.  I built my own spreadsheet so I could track who I queried…yes, I know I can do that on QT, I just wanted my own.  There wasn’t much more I could to.  The trigger finger was itchy to press “send.”  I knew though, that it would be smarter to give it just a little more time.

Then I got this idea.  It may seem petty to some, but if you’ve been reading me for a while, you may have recognized that I can be a tad sensitive.  Like an elephant, it’s hard for me to forget and as I write this on January 31, I’m coming up on an anniversary.  On February 4, 2009, the pink slip from the 23 year job came sliding under the door.   Although I wouldn’t trade my accomplishments since for those heretofore hefty paychecks, I still get a touch grouchy around this time of year.  Damn it.  When they tell you they can live without you, it hurts.

Wouldn’t it be cool if I could get out from under that—if I could turn the date into a positive?  What if I earmarked February 4, 2013 to send my very first submission to an agent?  Might there even be some poetic justice involved?  In my way, wouldn’t that be like thumbing my nose at the former employer who dropped me on my bottom four winters ago?  I know it's petty, but I liked that idea.

But then, I got nervous.  I read a glorious book and hated my writing. I reviewed my first ten pages again.  I could still make them better.  So I did.  I re-read the first three chapters.  I could make them better too.  So I did.  Did that mean I needed to make the rest of it better?   Yep, I could and I did.  The cycle was about to repeat itself, yet again, when my-wise-beyond-her-years daughter said, “Mom, you will ALWAYS find things to change, you could do it forever.  It’s time.”  She was right.

But then, because I tend to be thorough when I worry, I had a massive panic over my query letter.  Thank you to my lovely critique partner who talked me off the ledge on that one.  Right after that though, I got superstitious.  What if February 4th is a bad day for me?  Maybe I shouldn’t go forward with something that means so much to me on that day.  Maybe I should wait.

So here you are, reading this on or about February 6, thinking, enough already.  Did she or didn’t she? She did!!!

23 comments:

Susan Roebuck said...

I hope you did!!! I've been through all that process (twice now!) and it never gets easier. Here's hoping an agent or publisher jumps on the m/s immediately - fingers crossed X (and congratulations on getting your book finished).

M. J. Joachim said...

Oh, the mind games we play on ourselves...love those wise daughters. I have two of them:)

Johanna Garth said...

Oh my, I feel like I've walked in that same path so many times. I hope you turned February 4th into the day you hit send!

Nancy Thompson said...

Good for you!! Believe me, I totally get where you're at. Been there, done that. There will come a point when you KNOW you're really done. As for the querying, just realize there are many options out there, so don't get hung up on one path. Explore others at the same time. You never know what door will open up and when, but it never will if you don't knock on them all. Good luck!!

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

Good for you! Now the waiting begins. . . Good luck and try to find ways to keep sane while you wait to hear. :)

jamieayres.com said...

We could play this game allll day long as writers! But there's perfection in imperfection:-) People who are meant to read your story will find the beauty in it, and the ones who don't like it . . . it still doesn't mean it was a bad story, it just wasn't meant for them! Best of luck to you!!!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Hurrah! She did. This will now be a date to really be remembered.

Anne Gallagher said...

Now it all becomes clear. I'm so proud of you. YAY!!

Now comes the fun part. You get to work on your next novel!

The queries are out in the universe. Let them go. And remember, I'm here if you need me.

Anne Gallagher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Yeah!!!!!!! Score one for Liza! And it doesn't matter the outcome.
Now, send another.

Nigel Mitchell said...

Congratulations. I need to find the courage to do that again. And thanks for mentioning Query Tracker. Never heard of it, I'll have to check it out

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Good for you, Liza!

I'm glad your daughter told you it was time to stop fiddling and take the plunge. She is right. There will always be things you want to change.

Many published authors never read their own work once it sees print, because it is too upsetting to see things you'd like to change and can't. (I'm one of them.)

Good luck to you!

Yvonne Osborne said...

You did? You did! Your daughter is right (she sounds like mine) we will ALWAYS find things to change. Rewriting in itself can become addictive. We can rewrite ourselves into the grave and never ever know what could have been.

Congratulations on taking the jump.

LuAnn Braley said...

WTG, Liza! You are inspirational. It's very encouraging for me to hear that there are people who share some of the same concerns that I do and can get through all that and move their dreams forward!

Lexie C. said...

Oh, poetic justice is sweet! So glad to read that you DID! Turning an historically grumpy day into a day of celebration and affirmation is awesome (no matter what the outcome- you have owned it!).
Congratulations :)

Kim Lajevardi said...

Good for you! I hope the reception helps turn February 4th into a great day, but in the off chance it doesn't, you can still count your courage to act as a win. Great IWSG post!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Congrats, Liza. You took the first big step. No looking back.

Carol Kilgore said...

Congratulations! Your daughter was so right :)

Cheree Smith said...

We definitely play a lot of mind games with ourselves. Congratulations.

Tammy Theriault said...

don't look back, take the risks!! new follower, hi!!

Elsie The Writer said...

Good for you! Reading this made me smile and also gave me hope. Go You!!!!

J.B. Chicoine said...

Liza, this is HUGE news! I'm so proud of all your progress! Can't wait to hear all about your next success. (and I can't wait to read your next WIP!)

Nickie said...

Aww, it's nice to have such wonderful support from your family. And congrats on sending out your first round of queries! Hopefully the changes you made added to the book and you get a bite.