I hit a milestone the other day: my first positive response to a query letter I sent out for my novel. An agent read the first chapter, which I enclosed with my query, and immediately requested the first 50 pages! Be still my beating heart! I was excited to say the least, and spent all morning preparing those 50 pages, proofreading, double-checking formatting,, etc.–but I still managed to overlook a few minor things. *Grr-r-r* When my wife read what I had sent and noticed the typos and the missing sentence, I kicked myself in the you-know-what and sent off the corrected pages the next day. I’m not sure a perfect submission would have made a difference, because the agent passed on my ms. that same day. I doubt the typos were a deal killer.
What was interesting to me was the elation and excitement I felt after reading her email asking for those 50 pages. What a nice validation of the two years I’ve spent writing this darn thing, then revising, having it critiqued by my online group, editing, polishing and finally declaring it ‘suitable to be read by a mover or shaker.’
I spent most of those two days playing the ‘what if?” game. What if she wants to read the entire manuscript? What if she likes it? What if she agrees to be my agent? What if she sells it to a publisher? What if the publisher thinks it’s a sure-fire bestseller? Etc., Etc., Etc.
I had fun playing that game even though I knew the odds were about one in a million it would happen. So here I sit, two days later, ready to send out more queries this week, with high hopes but low expectations.
My question to you, gentle reader, is this: Have you experienced similar feelings with your querying process? How do you mentally prepare yourself for the inevitable rejections? Can you keep yourself on an even keel or do you oscillate like a lawn sprinkler when it comes to your mood and emotions?