Sunday, August 25, 2013

Querying Makes Me Want To Throw Up

Well, ladies and gentlemen, it's once again time for me to suck it up and face the task of querying something.  This has to be among my least favorite writer activities ever.  Query letters involve this incredibly frustrating dance between capturing the essence and voice of your work and somehow distilling it, and yourself, down to one page of professional-sounding text that will grab the interest of an agent or a publisher enough to bother reading the first page, which must then deliver as promised and more.  The query is the champion you send in to battle for a protagonist whose story has become so near and dear to you that the character is real, part of your family.  It is the first hurdle towards ANYTHING.

Lucky for me, I have this critique group that is beautifully pushy/encouraging about getting me to query.  "Query the hell out of it" were their exact words.  And I am throwing out the one-at-a-time mentality in favor of sending off multiple queries to appropriate recipients who have expressed an interest in something like this novel.

Sounds like I have a pretty good attitude, right?  Wrong.  Querying makes me want to throw up, or to throw my computer across the room, I'm not sure which.  It's so hard to find the right balance between professional voice and writer's voice.  I want the damn thing to be perfect, but perfectionism has historically been the enemy of forward progress for me, and so it is with querying.  Just pull the trigger, McGean!

I have no sage advice to offer here.  I can offer only commiseration with those other poor souls out there who are gearing up for this special battle of the writer's world.  That and this encouragement:  Those folks in my critique group who said "Query the hell out of it" know whereof they speak.  Their tireless querying efforts have been netting agents.  And so, shall I follow them into battle.  Excelsior!

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