CREEP is finished. For real this time. A total of five drafts. Word count down to a lean, mean 106,400. I could fiddle with it some more… in fact, I’m kind of itching to do one more draft (because hey, what if I missed something in the past 14 months that would suddenly pop out in Draft #6? And yes, I’m being sarcastic), but I know it doesn’t need it. It’s as good as I can get it. Any changes I make at this point are marginal and essentially pointless.
And right there lies the problem. I don’t want it be.
I’ve spent so much time fantasizing about getting to this point that, now that I’m here, I feel… frozen. I’ve tried so hard for the past year to focus on the story and the writing and the craft behind it all. But now that I’m finally faced with the marketing aspect of it, I’m choking.
Choking, guys. C H O K I N G.
The query letter is written. It’s gone through six drafts and been looked at by 4 different people whose opinions I trust (writers and non-writers). I think the query’s good. I’ve researched agents and have the first 50 all lined up in my meticulously organized, color-coded Excel spreadsheet. Other than the synopsis, which I can finish in the next couple of days, there’s no reason to not start querying. I’ve even set up a separate email address so that when the rejections come in, they don’t ping to my BlackBerry when I’m having an otherwise perfectly good day.
I am ready.
Except that I’m not. Not really. Not even close.
I don’t want to find out that I’m not any good. For the past two years since I decided to write “seriously” (whatever the hell that means), I’ve been operating under the delusion that I’m a good writer with great potential. I needed to tell myself that in order to get myself to write every day. But am I ready to find out that I’m not, in fact, good at all?
Blah blah blah, you say. Shut the fuck up and query already, is what you’re thinking. Enough with these pity party posts. And you know what, it’s okay to think that – if I was reading this stupid post, I’d be thinking it, too. Hell, I’d be saying it. Ask my friends. I’m the bluntest chick there is.
But get used to it. This phase of my “chasing publication” endeavor is not going to be rainbows and roses. It’s going to be HELL, and every writer who’s been through it knows that all you can do is sludge through it with lots of chocolate.
And yes, I have every intention of posting all my rejections here. Don’t you worry about that. This blog is about to get interesting. For you, anyway. (It might be kinda painful for me, but you can’t deny it won’t be downright titillating for you!)
On a happier note, I registered for NaNoWriMo. That’s short for National Novel Writing Month, which is every November. Never heard of it? Neither had I, until I started writing again. But believe it or not, thousands of writers participate in this challenge. The goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. That translates to 1,666 words per day, which is higher than my usual quota, but totally doable. And the perfect distraction to the Circle of Hell I’m about to enter with querying. I definitely need a shiny new story and a crazy high word count goal to keep my mind occupied so I don’t keep refreshing my inbox every ten minutes. Y ou don’t win anything for achieving the 50K goal, except, of course, the satisfaction of having written a good chunk of a novel in only a month’s time.
So, my friends, as my perky first grade teacher would say whenever we left the classroom, “And away we go!”