PDA

View Full Version : Scared!



CaroGirl
04-25-2008, 06:13 PM
Actually, I'm terrified. I'm getting close to sending out agent queries for my latest novel and every time I think about doing it, I'm paralyzed with fear.

I want this to be The One. The One that gets noticed, bought, sold, read. But what if it isn't? What if I get roundly rejected as usual? I feel more fragile about failure on this project than I've felt about any other. I'm so damn invested in it.

My crit group discussed the novel recently and one of the members really enjoyed it. Encouraged me that it was great and would sell. Was I pleased? Well, yeah, but also TERRIFIED by her praise.

I'm driving myself mad. Anyone else ever felt this way?

ChaosTitan
04-25-2008, 06:21 PM
Yep. Solid praise from your peers can be just as terrifying as a tepid reaction.

Each time I send out a new query/project, I'm certain it's The One. I was certain of it with the last book, which is pending one more late partial rejection (last-June late, so I'm not holding my breath).

I'm certain of it with my current submission. The big difference between this one and that one? This one received solid praise (along with some great advice) from my critters.

Believe in the book, Caro, but don't forget to believe in YOU. If you've written more than one novel that felt like The One, sooner or later (even if it's not this one, but I hope it is!), you'll write The One. Have faith in that and write true. :D

CaroGirl
04-25-2008, 06:25 PM
Yep. Solid praise from your peers can be just as terrifying as a tepid reaction.

Each time I send out a new query/project, I'm certain it's The One. I was certain of it with the last book, which is pending one more late partial rejection (last-June late, so I'm not holding my breath).

I'm certain of it with my current submission. The big difference between this one and that one? This one received solid praise (along with some great advice) from my critters.

Believe in the book, Caro, but don't forget to believe in YOU. If you've written more than one novel that felt like The One, sooner or later (even if it's not this one, but I hope it is!), you'll write The One. Have faith in that and write true. :D
Wow. You said that so nicely, Believe in Me. You really helped. Thanks for the kind words and encouragement and I hope your current project is The One too!!

gettingby
04-25-2008, 06:45 PM
You should be scared that this is the one and it's not getting out there because of your nerves. That is a far scarier thought. Take a deep breath, and hit send. I bet when you send a few queries out you will feel relieved.

Jackfishwoman
04-25-2008, 07:09 PM
absolutely Carogirl! I'm right there with you! Going through the same thing right now... it always helps to know that you are not alone in this.
It is horribly terrifying & paralyzing - I feel your pain!

Red-Green
04-25-2008, 07:10 PM
When I get the fear paralysis thing, I reassure myself with this thought: the worst thing they can do is say no thanks. They will not come to my house and pelt me with rotten fruit. They won't tell my neighbors that the novel wasn't good enough. They won't post excerpts from my book on the internet and mock it.

sunna
04-25-2008, 07:19 PM
Oh yes, terrified. Constantly. You're definitely not alone. Criticism and rejection are easier for me than praise from critters or agents or whomever: the closer I feel like I might be, and I feel damned close at the moment, the more terrified I am. It's a hell of a lot farther to fall, so to speak.


Just believe. Damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead, and I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for you. :D

dawinsor
04-25-2008, 07:51 PM
I think writers experience so much rejection that we're afraid to hope because we know we're likely to get slapped down.

However, you've written a good book. You know you have and other people say you have. You're about to find out whether it'll fly in the marketplace, but never doubt it's good.

Karen Duvall
04-25-2008, 08:33 PM
Ditto what everyone else has said. I was terrified to send my latest baby out into the world of cruel agents, but it's working out. I've had lots of rejections, which is to be expected, but I've had tremendous positive response, too. I've had 6 full requests within the past two weeks, and that wouldn't have happened if I hadn't sent out my queries.

One word of advice: Polish that query to within an inch of its life. Rewrite it a minimum of 20 times! No kidding! And get feedback on it from everywhere. Seriously. That query is your one and only ticket to the land of possibilities. Make it count.

ink wench
04-25-2008, 08:39 PM
I think writers experience so much rejection that we're afraid to hope because we know we're likely to get slapped down.

Totally what she said. Been there done that, will be doing it again and sooner than I care to think about. And I know the more confident I am in a project, the more each rejection will sting.

But you know this one is good. So stay strong. :) Remember the last time you picked up a book and wondered how it got published? There's the key to sanity. If you get rejections, just remember it's because the agent's taste sucks! And your book does not.

Good luck!

Williebee
04-25-2008, 08:42 PM
Look into my tiny puppy face. I'm dreaming of you sending your query.

Send, Carogirl send.

(Sleep, puppy sleep.)

What? After ChaosTitan's post, all I have left is the warm fuzzy stuff.

Saundra Julian
04-25-2008, 09:51 PM
Hang tough, sweetie and believe!

windyrdg
04-25-2008, 10:32 PM
"I'm driving myself mad. Anyone else ever felt this way?"

Yeah, Oh yeah...all the time. We can't control the whole world so we have to focus on what we can control, our writing and sending out queries.

Soccer Mom
04-25-2008, 10:40 PM
I'm feeling the scared right now, Caro. I feel like this book is The One. I've actually been procrastinating my rewrites because that means I have to query it for real.

If you feel so strongly about this book, query it until there isn't a living agent left to reject you.

GJB
04-26-2008, 09:41 PM
Hey CaroGirl,

During my over one hundred queries, face-to-face pitches, submissions, dozens of critiques from conferences and writers groups (the first one not so good, the second very good), I often said and thought, "Would be so much easier if someone just told me that my writing makes trees weep at their useless sacrifice for my drivel. Go play Bingo in your spare time. Stop this writing fantasy."

But they didn't and I slogged on scared, hurt, wounded, brassed off, dejected, whipped. Well, last Fall quite suddenly on my umpteenth cycle of queries I drew lots of requests for partials and fulls and landed a wonderful agent. So...get out there, get ready for the return mails and e-mails. And know this: every year in the US 60,000 new books get published by real publishers. Good manuscripts are wanted. Happy writing! g.

Will Lavender
04-26-2008, 11:36 PM
Best of luck, CaroGirl.

I've felt the fear, too. It didn't completely squelch it, but what I always told myself was this:

Other people are succeeding, why can't you?

scope
04-26-2008, 11:59 PM
Everyone suffers some degree of anxiety when they send out queries to agents or publishers, although I don't doubt that it's more prevalent with first timers. However, you have to everything into perspective. If you don't, if all of your publishing life you're going to harbor a fear which delays you from sending out your work, you should give long and hard thought as to whether writing and publishing is really what you want for your future.

Think of all the time and work you've put in to get to the point that you're at. Be happy, very happy, that you have a competent query which you're ready to send to agents or publishers. It's a moment you should relish - not fear. Don't worry about rejections, in fact know that you'll definitely receive some, as we all do. Just send out your queries and hope for the best. While you waiting work on your next piece.

KTC
04-27-2008, 12:20 AM
Actually, I'm terrified. I'm getting close to sending out agent queries for my latest novel and every time I think about doing it, I'm paralyzed with fear.

I want this to be The One. The One that gets noticed, bought, sold, read. But what if it isn't? What if I get roundly rejected as usual? I feel more fragile about failure on this project than I've felt about any other. I'm so damn invested in it.

My crit group discussed the novel recently and one of the members really enjoyed it. Encouraged me that it was great and would sell. Was I pleased? Well, yeah, but also TERRIFIED by her praise.

I'm driving myself mad. Anyone else ever felt this way?

To a tee. I know what you're saying. I've been there.

arkady
04-30-2008, 05:34 PM
I think writers experience so much rejection that we're afraid to hope because we know we're likely to get slapped down.

So true. The first time I got a request for partial, I tossed it in the back seat of my car and went grocery shopping. It wasn't for several hours that it actually sank in that this wasn't the usual form rejection.

I eventually did get a form rejection on the partial, though.


However, you've written a good book. You know you have and other people say you have. You're about to find out whether it'll fly in the marketplace, but never doubt it's good.

Well, you're about to find out whether it flies for an agent. If s/he likes it and manages to convince a publisher that it's worth their time, then you'll get a chance to see if it flies in the marketplace.

It's hard, very hard, to keep on believing that it's good when the only industry feedback you get is:

Dear Author:

No.

A. Gent

Greenwolf103
04-30-2008, 08:13 PM
CaroGirl, I'm in the exact same boat as you. I've spent all this time agentless. Now it's time to roll up my sleeves and FIND AN AGENT because I KNOW I have absolutely no chance of placing this latest book with a MAJOR publisher without one. (And it DOES deserve a major publisher. It's just that kind of book.)

Good luck to you. Bite the bullet and hit send.

(And good luck to me, too. *holds your hand as we get ready to jump*)

CaroGirl
04-30-2008, 08:33 PM
Can I close my eyes while we jump?

It's great to know I'm not in this boat alone, rowing into the misty unknown. Thanks to everyone for your commiseration and support.

Good luck to us ALL!!

Bourgeois Nerd
05-02-2008, 06:59 AM
Can I close my eyes while we jump?

It's great to know I'm not in this boat alone, rowing into the misty unknown. Thanks to everyone for your commiseration and support.

Good luck to us ALL!!

Good luck to you CaroGirl! I'm having a query block after sending my first query wave. I tend to over-research everything. To death.

It seems like I spend half a day researching agents more than trying to outline and write my second novel or finish a short story. Then at the end of the day, I have hardly anything to show for it. No advancement in my writing and maybe, maybe 1 or 2 email queries sent. ARGH.

I'm really upset with myself right now. It's not like I have all the time in the world. It just seems like sooooo much goes into researching the right agents for my book and finding the right first paragraph that will tell them how my book connects with their needs that I get frustrated and fearful.
Stupid, stupid query block. I've heard of writer's block but I've honestly never had it! Can you believe that? Instead I've got query block. Sheer madness. :cry:

On another thread, a poster was telling me how agents are gatekeepers to the publishing industry, which is true. And then the person got upset and cursed their existence. Which I understand. It seems like we have to put so much effort into writing these damnable query letters and they can just pee all over them in a heartbeat because they have us by the short hairs (a buyer's market, if you will). Or maybe not by the short hairs if you've had a Brazilian wax!:ROFL:

Susan Breen
05-02-2008, 07:02 AM
I know exactly how you feel. I love it when I've written something and absolutely no one has rejected it yet and it's all shiny and new. But then you have to send it out...

Susie
05-03-2008, 04:58 AM
Much good luck, Caro, bet it's great and bet you'll do great!