Query Letter Says Nooooooo…
Possibly the most hated task of all authors aspiring to be published - writing the query letter. That one page summation of hours/weeks/months/years of slaving over a manuscript that is arguably made up of small pieces of your soul.
While I don’t (and never will) claim to be any kind of authority on query letters, sending them or writing them, I can speak to my personal experience with the whole lot. And guess what? That’s exactly what I’m gonna do.
When I go looking for Agents, I truly want someone that is going to ‘get me’. Someone who appreciates the fact I can binge watch Sons of Anarchy and then flip over to Coco, or fall totally in love with Vash the Stampede all over again every time I watch Trigun (Love and Peace is where it’s at). I want someone that sees not just my work but me, and how that work would’ve come from me to begin with.
I do my diligence - I go through agent pages, read bios, and check twitter feeds. I analyse their wants and needs against my own. Sometimes, happily, I find agents that make me laugh and smile in utter delight because wow, they’re just like me. They watch the same stuff, they read the same books, and they make the same nerdy references I do.
The hard part about that? The inevitable rejection.
Because every writer gets rejected.
There’s just a special sting that comes from being rejected by someone you admired, appreciating them, their personality and persona.
Maybe that’s just me, but that’s definitely the truth I feel. Finding an agent, reading all about them and thinking to myself (probably naively, but oh well) ‘they’re amazing! I can’t wait for them to read my stuff!’
These days I try to think of rejection, even by those I admire, as developing thick skin. It’s something I have to accept if I want my work, those pieces of my soul, put out into the world for everyone to enjoy and/or critique.
To paraphrase another writer I admire, if you are holding out for universal popularity, you will be in your cabin for a very long time.
So hard as it may be to write those query letters, and as much as it sucks the hairy meatball to get rejected, don’t stop. DO NOT let the fact that some can’t see your vision steal that vision from you either. We have to love ourselves, our work, and believe in it before we can expect anyone else to.
That’s my two cents for today. Hopefully these two cents here and there start adding up one day...