I remember being called that a lot when I was growing up – by friends sometimes, but mostly by my brother. It wasn’t that I was any more scared than anyone else; it was just a manipulation, but I wonder that I don’t hear it so much among the younger crowd.
I’m talking about that particular phrase, the manipulation part and the peer pressure it represents is timeless.
I find that I am being called by that name again and this time, I’m the bully. It’s a little complicated, but the fact is: I have a novel that is ready for me to start pursuing publication.
I’ve read all the blogs and spent days investigating the publication process and I recognize that I need an agent, hopefully just the right one, but basically whomever will be willing to represent my book.
I did more homework, this time pouring through the Writer’s Market agent lists, identifying agents of author’s whose books I enjoy, even doing searches on Google. Through this, I’ve read countless blogs and agency listings along with a new submission form for each one.
But am I overwhelmed? I am not! I know the advice is to send out a huge wash of queries all at once, but I’d rather hand-pick my potential agents to be sure that they seem like people who I would like, and who would enjoy working with me.
I’ve honed down my list to 6 agents who are looking for books like the one I’ve written. They all even accept email queries! I’m ready. I know how to write a good query. I’ve got all their personal submission expectations at hand. So what’s the problem?
It’s just simple fear, nay terror! I know this is my ONLY chance to make a good first impression. I know that once they pass me by, I can’t try again with them. I know that out of the 400 – 800 queries they receive this month, they will only ask for 4-6 manuscripts and from those, they MIGHT come away with 1 new client. Even if I GET an agent, the chances of my book being published are slim and I’m not exactly lucky.
Hence the fear. This is the precipice, as the Phantom of the Opera sang, “The Point of No Return.”
What will she do? What WILL she do???
Seriously? At this point, pray, but I’m not convinced that I’m not just procrastinating. I’m also pouring over my manuscript to make sure it is as perfect as it can possibly be. Just tonight I carved over 1000 words off of it. (Wish that weight loss was that easy!)
So I will continue to pray, that the Father will add to the desire He has built to keep me moving toward His goals, or that He will remove my deep love of writing. And while I’m at it, I’m praying for the agents by name that I have on my list; for their health, relationships, and their relationship with the Lord, and for a profitable week for them all.
In the meantime, “my soul will wait on the Lord.”