Diary of Being a Writer; Week 171
I have finally done it.
I submitted a query to an agent.
In fact, I have now queried five agents. And they are all recorded in my spreadsheet titled “Agent Rejections”. I think it was my mentor Sophie Hannah who suggested this title. We all know there are going to be rejections, but the more rejections you have, the closer you are to finding an agent for your book. So rather than see each one as devastating and demoralising, see them as progress.
So although I have sent out those queries, I won’t have started making progress toward my goal of being published until I get a few rejection letters. I thought I should aim for at least 20 to start. And then, depending on the feedback, if any, or if none, change my approach and try another 20. Or, if the feedback is helpful and constructive about the novel, I might change it!
It took a long time to get here. If you have read some of my other blogs, you will know there are a few reasons for the procrastination, but as I was preparing to email the first submission, the overriding emotion was fear. My face felt flushed, and my hands shook as I pressed send.
The second one wasn’t so bad, and then for the third, I submitted to someone I would like as an agent, not just someone whose books were open for speculative fiction. I rejigged everything to comply with the submission guidelines and then once again felt all the nerves as I pressed send.
I was so pleased with myself. I had finally sent off submissions to literary agents. And there in my inbox were the affirming replies. Automatic emails saying, “We have received your submission, and you will either hear from us within 12 weeks or know that you are dead to us”. Except one automatic reply had copied my email subject line. It read, “Receipt of submission for “Bloddy Dawn- Emma Sachsse”. Yep, my email title had read “Bloddy Dawn”. We can just assume they will be deleting that submission immediately! And of course, it was the agent who sounded like she would be a great fit for Bloody Dawn and fun to work with. What a pity to waste one of my rejections with a typo. Anyway, time to get some more submissions submitted. Those rejections won’t just appear on their own, and I really can’t wait to get to the one that isn’t.