Am I ready to Query?
It might be the hardest question any aspiring writer faces, because let's face it--querying is scary!
Querying is when we take the project we've poured our heart and souls into, sacrificed our time and sleep and sanity, and ship it off to the scariest place ever: the slush pile.
It will be stressful
We will get rejected (I have yet to meet an author who didn't get rejected at least once)
And it's our one shot to impress our dream agent. If we query our draft before it's ready, we could be setting ourselves up for disaster.
Which is why some writers (*cough* me *cough*) can linger endlessly in "revision mode" and always fall back on some excuse not to query:
"I need a few more CPs"
"I need some Beta Readers"
"I need to let the draft breathe"
"I need to write my query letter"
"I'm finishing my newest revisions"
"I'm still figuring out who to query"
"I'm waiting until after the Conference"
And well...certain people in my life (who know what an obsessive, perfectionist I can be) have decided enough is enough.
Thus why my Sunday began with an epic phone call--an intervention if you will--from my family, who wanted me to answer the unanswerable question: WHEN AM I GOING TO QUERY????--and they would not take "I don't know" for an answer.
BUT I DON'T KNOW!!!!
In my head my draft is never quite shiny enough, no matter how many times I've polished it.
They tried to convince me to jump in--but I prefer a safer approach.
So--after MUCH discussion--we agreed on a compromise.
I was up all night on Sunday finishing a last run through of my MS.
It has since been sent to all of my CPs, with the specific instruction to read it with one thought in mind: if this were your draft, would you query it?
And if they say yes...well...Query Wars here I come!
I've set no time limit on when my CPs must get back to me
(secretly hoping they'll take their sweet time so I won't have to hold up my end of the deal)
but two of them have already started reading, and another has already cast her vote. So it's looking like my stalling time might be running out.
In the meantime, I've been trying to calm my panic by thinking about what Maureen Johnson said about the importance of sucking as a writer, and trying to figure out if I've sucked enough yet (if you missed it you can watch the vlog here)
And well...it's highly possible I have sucked enough.
Here's some interesting numbers/statistics
5: The number of scripts I've written (one of which was about BOY BANDS!)
6: The number of books I half wrote or outlined before my current MS
1.5: The number of years I researched the story before I began writing
5: The number of journals I filled with notes during the research process
13: The number of months I've been writing/revising my current MS
14: The number of drafts I've gone through since beginning my MS
147: The number of scenes I rejected when I created Master Draft 1
55, 614: The number of words cut from Master Drafts 11 and 12
46,095: The number of words cut from Master Draft 13
So...yeah--that's a WHOLE lot of sucking. But maybe that means I've squeezed almost all the suck out of my MS, because do you know how many words I cut on Sunday from Master Draft 14?
So maybe it's finally getting close
Which would be awesome--but also terrifying, because I'm totally afraid of querying!!!
And on that note, I beg your advice: how did you know you were ready to query? (or how do you *think* you will know, if you're not quite there yet?)