Thursday, February 10, 2011

Just. Hit. Send.

I know sometimes it can be terrifying. You just finished writing your query. You've pasted the whole thing into an email. You've addressed it to your dream agent. You've read the email a dozen times, skimming for errors, rewording things you know worked to begin with. Your finger hesitates over the SEND button...

And you re-read it again. Or SAVE DRAFT for later.

I went through something like that yesterday. I'm "finished" with Immortal, Beloved. I attached it to an email to my agent, said a prayer (PLEASE OH PLEASE LET HER LOVE IT AS MUCH AS ENEMY, BELOVED), or...okay, maybe I said two prayers (PLEASE DON'T LET IT SUCK) and STILL I hesitated over the SEND button.

It's just so...so...definite.

Once you push that button there's no going back. There's no changing something you noticed wrong later. A lot of the pressure from the writing/publishing industry stems from the feeling that you get one chance to make it happen. One chance to make it or break it--publish your work or bury it beneath your bed. Or at least that's how it feels to me.

I think Eminem said it best in "Lose Yourself":
Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted-One moment-
Would you capture it or just let it slip?


You have one first impression with your dream agent. Once you have a Fantabulous agent who loves your first work, you have to impress them time and time again with each manuscript you write after the first. Mr. or Mrs. Dream Agent could easily say "No, this sequel isn't for me. Go back to the drawing board, keep the characters, and write me another." Listen, I just spent one month plotting Immortal, Beloved, four months writing that 350 page book and another month editing it.

I. Feel. Pressure.

As I hesitated over the SEND button, I thought back to when I was querying agents with Enemy, Beloved. It felt darn near close to the same feeling. Did I get everything right? Did I cross every T and dot every I? Did I close up every single thread? Did the characters arc as they should've?

Then I did it. I hit send.

You should to. What are you waiting for? Take the time to make your manuscript as good as you can get it, then send that puppy. You'll never get an agent/editor/critique partner if your computer mouse keeps hovering over the same email.

As for me, another waiting game has begun. (Did I mention I'm still on submission with Enemy?) The publishing industry is a s..l...o...w... road to walk folks. But that's okay because the people you meet along the way are happy-writer-lovers, supportive and make the steep legs of the trip not seem as daunting.

Speaking of supportive happy-writer-lovers (I love that phrase--sums everyone I've met in this industry *perfectly*)...I did an interview with Kaitlyn over at Nocturnal Readings. She's also posting a review of Dark Tide Rising tomorrow. So if you've got the time, between hitting that send button, stop on by!

4 comments:

Shallee said...

I know just the feeling you're talking about. :) Good luck on your new submission!

Jamie (Mithril Wisdom) said...

Use Gmail; there's an option you can enable that allows you to 'undo' sending an email after you've clicked the button, hehe.
I get the same with important emails. I draft it and then don't actually send it for a few days until I've psyched myself up for it (I've still one for PhD funding to send off...)

Kaitlyn said...

Thanks for the shout out! Great post too. I'm sure Immortal Beloved is great! She'll love it. I can't wait to read it, and I loved Dark Tide Rising. I was super impressed, and you definitely did the scenery justice.

Kristin Miller said...

Shallee, Kaitlyn--THANK YOU for the support and kind words. I have to send a hardcopy to her this week so I know she won't be digging in until probably Friday or so (and that's if she's got the immediate time)...still gives me some time to chill out before I hover by the phone/laptop though.

Jamie--Oh, you should never have told me about that gmail feature. That's all bad. I'd be sending...unsending...sending...unsending. Wouldn't that just be the biggest joke of all if those "unsends" actually went through?!? Those gmail gods are probably laughing their smug asses of. ;)