Agent Angst

Writing a novel is the easy part.

Never mind months of distracted days and late nights. Forget all the times you had to force yourself… FORCE YOURSELF … to focus on what the person right in front of you was saying because you were off in some other world, grappling with the most minute details of a conversation between two wholly fictional characters. Sitting down at the computer with nothing to write – or too much to write – or no idea whether you have too little or too much to write – will seem like a luxury.

Fighting to tell an epic tale perfectly is a minute problem compared with what comes next…

Query letters. Synopses. 

Selecting the crucial points of the story, condensing hundreds of pages into mere paragraphs, and phrasing it all in such a way that some agent or publisher will pick your story out of the hundreds that cross his or her desk every week. Presenting yourself as confident, but not cocky; grateful, but not groveling; professional, but not stilted; quirky, but not uncomfortably weird; informed, but not the agent’s next stalker. Finding the perfect balance to sell your work and yourself.

Agents. Publishers.

Researching agents, agencies, and publishers with the hope of finding the perfect match and a prayer that one of those you query will decide they want you as much as you want them.

And then… waiting.

Expecting rejection because it’s part of the business and because… what if.. my novel… really… stinks?

Yearning for acceptance because despite the doubts that rear up as soon as you give your query letter one last read and hit “Send,” deep down, you can’t stop believing your story has what it takes.

Trying to find the balance between hope and dread as you force yourself… FORCE YOURSELF… not to check your email every five minutes because someone might have fallen in love with your baby.

This, my friends, is the angst of the agent/publisher search.

Give me a novel to write any day.


4 thoughts on “Agent Angst

  1. Very true how that after part takes a lot of the fun out of it. Revising isn’t all that fun either. I’ve been revising my novel for much longer than it took to write it and, even though I keep thinking it’s done, it seems as if it will never really be done. The best thing to do at times like these is to write something new just to bring some of that fun back in again.

  2. I’m working on the second book in a trilogy, which provides great relief between revisions and queries related to the first book. And it’s not that the agent/publisher search isn’t fun, per se. It’s more that it’s full of hopes, doubts, and fears that aren’t as easy to ignore or simple to balance as they were when I wasn’t waiting to hear if the professionals think my work is worthy of publication. 🙂

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