As we go not silently into the night!
Welcome to Part Four of the Writing & Despair Happy Hour!
So there you are and your novel is done. You edited it a few times, spell checked it, made sure it was perfect. You even read it out loud night after night, while your spouse fumed at you fro not getting into bed. Followed all the rules you did. Even went so far as to sharpen all your pencils. And then you went and spent 100 bucks or so on the Literary Agent Books. You joined LMP on the Internet - more cookie money for the kids Christmas presents down the drain. You did your research. Because every piece you ever read about agents told you to do your background and research.
And then still following the rules you send out 20 simultaneous queries to 20 different agencies all dealing with your type of book. You spent another week on getting it just right. You did your best to interest them. You made a joke here, said something serious there. You printed them out - one by one - each having a personalized paragraph to that particular agent, showing off how much homework and research you did about their agency. You made sure the SASE's were printed, the stamp in the right place, and even put the Agent's return address on them - all like you were told.
And following the rules - still - you went to the Post Office. Stood on line. Bought 20 pretty stamps for your 20 pretty envelopes which held your 20 pretty letters and 20 pretty SASE's to your 20 pretty and handsome agents.
Then you went home - and just like the books told you - you started working on something else. Each day you were tempted to give in to the worry. Did the envelopes make it? Did they go through? Did the Postman go postal and rip up all your envelopes? Did the plane carrying those envelopes to NY and CA fall into the sea and the US Govt. is hiding the fact in order not to scare the populace with a needless terrorist threat?
You wait. Sometimes you absently pull clumps of hair out of your head without being aware you hand is in your hair. You get short with the kids; snap at your spouse. You apologize to them and notice that magically your stash of Johnny Walker has dwindled a bit too much. BUT YOU WAIT. You stay silent. You behave. Because that is what they all tell you to do.
Six weeks later the answers begin to trickle in. One, two, three rejections. You shrug knowing that there are still seventeen more out there. You wait. Seventeen goes down to sixteen, fifteen and soon you have a pile of fifteen rejections in your hand and five letters still out there - unanswered.
You begin to feel you are about to loose it. Go Insane. This is NOT FAIR! You followed the Rules! You waited. You did your research. Your query had NO spelling mistakes. Unjust. This is totally wrong. It can't be happening to you. And as you think these things the list of rejections grows to eighteen. And you put your hopes and prayers into those two letters. You are sure the fates are playing with you. The agent who wants to read your Novel will be one of the last two.
You stand tall in the face of adversity. You hold on to your sanity with a thin thread. You will make it!
Boy do I have a wake up call for you!
And so you finally realize that those last two agents thought your query so miserable they did not bother answering. (Instead they stole your pretty stamps!) But you still don't give in. And out goes another twenty. And another twenty.
Finally you sit back and take stock. Is this going to work? Is this possible? Of course it is, you say to yourself. Didn't Stephen King and a host of others make it when they were just about to give up hope? Weren't they about to throw in the towel?
Defeat is not an option. No way. No how. You are going to succeed. The words "giving up" do not enter your lexicon. You will triumph against the odds. You will not go silently into the night. You will be victorious.
Hey buddy - what planet are you living on?
All illustrations above are from the Despair.com. All hyperlinks on the posters will take you to their original page @ Despair.com.
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