Sunday, May 15, 2011

Thankful for support groups

Last Friday, during Writing Friday, I finally did something I've been putting off for over a year. I sent out queries to agents about my first novel, Witnessing the Creation. I finished the polished draft in December of 2009 and set it aside when I started the next novel, saying that I was unsure about marketing it. Truth was I was scared of rejection, scared of the effort I could put in for naught. And, it is more fun to write new material than it is to market something you're done with.

Earlier this month at the Second Tuesday Writers meeting, we talked at length about the value of having a concrete project, one that includes a number of some sort (number of pages, number of chapters, date of completion, etc.). I was headed off the next day to a writing retreat to work on novel #2 but I was unsure how much I could accomplish since I hadn't looked at it in over 4 months. But the group wasn't going to let me get away with that and they kept pressing me for a number of something. So I finally blurted out that I'd send 20 queries on Witnessing before we met again on June 14.

At that time, I had no idea how long a query would talk or how much work was involved, but I had put marketing Witnessing on my 2011 creative goals and I wanted to make a decision to move forward with it or let it go. (Not every writer does anything with that first trial novel.) In addition to setting my goal, I stated that I would spend at least half of each May Writing Friday getting it done.

Turned out I needed 5.5 hours to do the 20. For this first effort, I chose only those agents who were accepting email queries so I didn't have to do any printing or go to the post office. It was very tedious work as each agent asks for something a little different (letter, synopsis, first chapter OR letter, first 50 pages OR brief synopsis, bio, first 3 chapters) but I did it.

I was sorely tempted to use last Friday to keep up the momentum on novel #2 that I got at the beach but I just wanted that commitment to do 20 queries out of the way. And so I did them. So grateful for the support in my life that helps me hold myself accountable for what I say I want.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Jill,

    Wow. I'm impressed with your ability to focus and slog through that kind of tedious yet important work (the queries). I've been appreciating the time and effort it takes to do those kinds of things around my hoped-for career. So easy to brush off, yet so necessary. Thank you for sharing your process on this issue. And brava for following through!