Clicking "Send"

Such a simple thing to do. One flick of the wrist. One tap of the touchpad. Why can’t I do it? Why? Why?? Why??? WHY????

Oh, I don’t know. Maybe….

  • Fear of rejection. Have you read all those rejection stories? The authors who got 65 rejection letters before landing an agent? The writers who are still waiting on an acceptance letter, like, three years after they started sending queries? The writers who got so sick of the rejection process they uploaded their manuscripts to Smashwords and B&N PubIt! and became self-published NY Times bestsellers? (OK, now I’m dreaming, but I actually do know one author this happened to.) I’m not particularly masochistic, so I’m not looking forward to this whole rejection thing.

  • Extreme perfectionism. I want every i dotted, every t crossed and every modifier to dazzle, not dangle. What can I say? After five drafts and countless hours (days/weeks/months/years) staring at the same set of words, it still doesn’t feel good enough to submit. Yeah, I realize it’s a personal problem.
  • Inability to let go. I love my characters. I love them so much it borders on unhealthy. Once I officially move this book into “query phase,” I have no excuse anymore to keep revising the book incessantly, at the expense of my other projects.
  • Query letter paralysis. OK, if it’s unhealthy to stare at the same 100,000 words over and over and over again, it must be really, really unhealthy to stare at the same four paragraphs over and over again. But seriously, could the query letter writing process be any more intimidating? Thanks, Query Shark. (Oh, and seriously, thanks, Query Shark. You’re very helpful, really.)

I … have … to … click … send. Is there a 12-step program for aspiring authors?


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