Monday, April 25, 2011

What to do?

I still have over twenty query letters out there, and wonder what I should be doing now.  I'm still waiting to hear from the one agent who has a partial submission.  Querying agents is not for the impatient or the faint of heart.

I've never taken rejection well, but this process is surprising me.  For once in my life, I'm not taking the rejections personally.  It's not me they don't like, and not necessarily my novel.  It's just that my novel doesn't ignite a fire in the agent, and that's OK.

That being said, should I query some more?  Which query do I use?  Do I use my original query, or the new-fangled query tracker one?  I think I'll wait a couple of days, then send out a few more.  Then I'll wait some more.  Hey, I'm getting good at it.

Friday, April 22, 2011

It's a new day...

... and I'm going to look at it that way.  So an agent decided she wasn't in love with my book.  So what?  That's just one opinion.  And she gave me constructive criticism with which to make my work better.  The only thing better than that would be getting an offer of representation, and it could have been a lot worse.  So I'm going to look at it like a success and not a failure.  My glass is half full, thank you very much.

So far, it's been a good day.  The nanny brought donuts for me for breakfast, and both of the girls gave me homemade birthday cards.  My girls are so stinking sweet, and they're kind and loving.  I got so lucky in the birth lottery that I ended up with those two souls.  My hubby gave me a card and sour patch kids (my favorite), so today is looking good.  I have the morning to work on writing, I get to work out this evening, and I get to spend the rest of the day with my family.

Plus, it's Good Friday AND Earth Day.  It doesn't get much better than this.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Midlife Crisis

Some people call it a mid-life crisis.  You could call it regression to the teenage years, when impulse control was rare and pimples were the norm.  You could call it immaturity.  But whatever you call it, I call it nice to finally be able to put who I am out there.

When in college and medical school, no one ever talks to you about your career choice.  You just push on through, regardless of whether it's what you should be doing or not.  There are no career counselors, armed with Myers-Briggs or Strong Interest questionnaires, ready to help.  There is no business consultant there to teach how to run a practice.  There is just the student and his or her dreams, no matter how unrealistic they might seem.

I wish there had been someone there for me.  Not necessarily to tell me I was making a mistake, but to tell me to take my time and take everything into consideration.  I wish someone had told me emergency medicine is really hard for a mother with a family.  I wish someone had told me that it's hard to change course once you've set upon it.  And I wish someone had told me that there's more to life than a paycheck.

I went into medicine to help people, and I have.  Now I'm questioning whether the help I've given came at the expense of my own happiness.  Time will tell on that one.  For now, I'm trying to learn who I really am, and I'll be figuring out who I need to be, for myself and for my kids.  I'll  keep you posted.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Off to the races...

This publishing business is tough.  It takes a lot of persistence, a lot of heart.  Rejections are many, requests are few.  And I thought medicine was difficult!

I started querying in ernest this week.  (For those of you not in the know, a query letter is an unsolicited request for an agent to represent an author.  Most agents get hundreds of queries a week.  The odds are not good.)  I'd stuck my toe in the query waters a couple of months back, but didn't really polish my letter, didn't have a synopsis ready, hadn't discovered the many ways to find agents.  After doing the research, I now know about all of these things that the average reader doesn't.  Who knew all the steps it took to get a book published?

I really like my manuscript.  The story is good, the characters are memorable, and the plot has twists and turns.  In short, it's something I'd pick off a shelf and read.  I'll just need to stick to it and keep querying.  Surely there's an agent, and a publisher, out there who will like my book as much as I do.  I just need to find him or her.  And find him or her I will.

I'll keep you posted as I continue on this journey.