In my daily swim through queries, I’ve noticed an interesting trend in opening sentences—something to the effect of “I feel that now is finally the right time to send this your way,” or “I’ve been sitting on this novel, too afraid to send it out until now.” Which leads me to believe that as many people as there are that email me telling me they’ve gotten over the fear of reaching out, there are just as many–if not more–who are still hesitant to hit the Send button. In past blog posts I’ve talked about the query process, but today I wanted to dig a bit deeper and reach those who haven’t yet cleared that first hurdle.
My question is: what’s holding you back? Maybe it’s timing, maybe it’s perfectionism. And I’m willing to guess it also rests in that highly inconvenient fear we all experience throughout our lives of rejection. But I won’t deny that you also probably feel the odds—technical, rather than emotional—stacked against you. If you’re keeping yourself informed and involved, reading blogs, and doing whatever you can to learn more about the industry, there’s no doubt that you’re hearing different advice from different sources: “do this” or “don’t do this” or “text attached” or “text included in the body” or “spell check.” Everyone remembers spell check, right?
The fact is, it’s competitive out there, and a realistic attitude is an imperative. And expectations are inevitably high because we want to see the absolute best that you have to offer. It’s a tall order, I won’t deny it. But here’s the thing: sometimes you have to tune out the noise and dive in. Of course you want your work to be as perfect as it can be, but you also can’t wait forever for that perfection to happen. At a certain point, you have to go for it, because you never know what could be waiting for you on the other end.
Are any of you out there are feeling this? I’d love to hear your thoughts.