The Eight-hour Conversation: Querying the Editor

Eight hours ago I finally queried the editor from the agency I’m interested in. She has a section on her website where you fill out your information: name, email address, book genre, audience age range, and finally the premise. I’ve been staring at that form for weeks. Today, I finally filled it out.

To my surprise she responded to me within three hours!

Fortunately, she can’t do full manuscripts for the rest of the year. This is fine for me as I expressed that I’m going back to school and am strapped for cash.  She can, however, check out and edit either the first fifty pages or first one-hundred pages of my manuscript.

Jackpot!

Just kidding, it’s not a jackpot because she’s booked until August 28th!

I know, I’m being crazy. August 28th isn’t far! I should know better than to rush. Haste makes waste. Yada, yada. Etc., etc.

However, to me, it’s not crazy. You see I’ve had this idea in my head that I would start querying in the beginning of August. I wanted to send out however many pages of my manuscript to my top agents and then promptly forget. It’s what I do whenever I do anything; from applying for a job, to applying for school, you name it. It’s a crappy defense mechanism.

If I do the thing and forget then I can be pleasantly or unpleasantly surprised when I finally garner a response.

In my case, if I query agents in the beginning of August then it would be easy to forget. I told myself I’d get all of my Christmas shopping done by the 5th and then finish up work at my part-time job on the 12th. I’d work my full-time job for two full weeks, gather my materials for school and then start on AUGUST 28th!

August 28th.

It shouldn’t be a big deal. I’m getting my masters online. But I haven’t been in school for three years. When I was in school for my bachelors I worked part-time. Same with high school. This is a different ballpark.

I’m also afraid. What if I get so involved with school I forget to query? What if I don’t have the time to devote to it like I want?

There are so many what-ifs I don’t know where to begin. I also don’t want to put my writing on hold any longer.

That’s why it took me an additional five hours to respond to her.

I asked her if she’d be available after September 5th. I want to focus on school for the first week. If she is available, I asked for her “First 50 pages” service. That’s what I need to query my top agent.

Plus, by then my betas will be finished with reading my manuscript. Between their edits, hers and mine, I think I’ll be solid. I really love the story the way it is now, but there’s always room for improvement.

In July I’ll review my manuscript again. If it really is shit then I’ll hold off on sending it out and wait until I can get an appointment with her.

If I still like it, I’m going to query it. The worst thing that will happen is that I’ll get rejected and I can start again. The best thing that will happen is that someone will pick it up and if they see where they can improve the story we can work on it together.

Since I replied to the editor five hours later I don’t expect a response at least until tomorrow. I can wait for that.

Gosh I must be crazy. Maybe I am.  There are a lot of other life happenings on my mind. Maybe I just need to take a step back.

On the plus side I got over my fear and sought her out.

That’s a step.

That’s progress.

-Myah

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