I am a prolific writer, and world-class yellow-bellied chicken. I have finished drafts of seven novels. I have queried zero agents. Why?
To a backwoods girl with big dreams, querying a “big-city” agent is terrifying. Here’s why:
- I have zero literary connections.
- I have attended zero fancy writing conferences.
- I have zero professional proofreading connections.
- I have zero non-professional reliable proofreading connections.
- I have almost zero social media presence.
- I feel like no matter how many times I revise, my story is never good enough.
So where, then, to begin?
I have to change all those zeroes into positive numbers. Attend writing conferences. Make connections. Join communities. Social media a lot more. For a twenty-something balancing her job, home life, two cats, depression and social anxiety, and trying to have a baby, that’s a lot to handle.
Whenever I get myself psyched up and motivated to rip off the Band-Aid and just start querying, goshdarnit, I start inquiring to Professor Google, which is the best/worst idea ever. I wind up reading articles about rubbing elbows and attending lectures hosted by literary agents, and taking classes on marketing, hiring proofreaders, and my head starts to explode. When will I find time (and money?) for all that?
Then the gremlins creep in.
That little voice in the back on my head, judgmental and grating, demands, “Well, if you can’t find time for all those things, then you don’t really care about writing and you don’t want to succeed. If you did, you would make time!”
And that’s simply not true. I love my stories, I love my characters. Writing has been there for me when the rest of the world seemed to be falling apart. Yet somehow, I can’t seem to launch over that hurdle. It’s all too big for someone as small as me, or so it feels. I know hobbits can go on big adventures, but… mpf.
Writers out there – how have you made the transition from writing to querying… especially if you had to start knowing nobody in the biz? Advice accepted and welcomed.