Where do writers get their confidence? Because I can’t seem to find mine. I used to have some, remember back in November when I was so excited to start sending out queries? Well, now I feel paralyzed. I have no confidence, no courage to send out a new round of queries. I know I need to. I’ve edited Twenty-Five to death. TO DEATH. It’s at the point now where I don’t want to make any changes again until a professional (i.e. an agent, editor, or publisher) has read it. But I can’t work up the nerve to send it out there to professionals.
The whole query process just makes me sick to my stomach. You have to write a query letter which has to be so knock-your-socks-off fantastic that the agent thinks, “Hmmm… that’s interesting. I want to read the first couple of chapters.” Because no matter how knock-your-socks-off fantastic the query letter is, chances are it isn’t going to be soooo fantastic that the agent is going to want to read the whole book. Unless you’re a friend of mine who has 6 full requests pending at the moment! (YAY! She’s so freaking talented if she DOESN’T get an agent than I might as well give up forever.)
Then, once the agent has the first couple of chapters, they have to knock them out of their chair, pick them up, and knock them out again in order for the agent to think, “Hmmm… that’s interesting. I want to read the rest of the book.”
Then, the rest of the book has to be the ABSOLUTE BEST THING that agent has ever read. And even then, you may get this response: “While I think your writing/book/story has promise, unfortunately it is not a project I can take on at the moment.” Or something similar.
So, if you are out there querying- how are you doing it? Because I can’t. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I don’t think my book is bad. I want people to read it. But I can’t send out a damn query letter.
I think it’s the query letter that is my actual problem. They are so freaking hard to write. I can’t seem to boil the 96K words down into 250 words and it still be interesting. I know that people do it every day, so why can’t I? Every time I try, I lose my voice. I lose the spark that makes my book special. Because the truth is, even though it deals with a very simple idea- love found, love lost, love found again- it is incredibly complex. There are so many components that make it unique and special and different, but I can’t put all those layers into a query letter. And I can’t seem to figure out which ones are the most special, the most unique- the ones that are going to knock the socks off an agent.
If anyone can share some of their confidence with me, I’d really appreciate it!