Writing update: expectations, reality, and hope

The notebook pictured is full of scribbles pertaining to my novel. Several outlines, timelines, character sketches, full paragraphs, lines, sometimes only a word to jog my memory. It's fun to look through and see what stuck. What didn't. What might need to come back someday when an agent or editor has suggestions. 

Last week I began the process of querying literary agents. Prior to that I worked on a query letter template, with the help of a few patient people who held my hand and read my words. I struggled over tone, word choice, and how to capture the essence of a 100,000 word novel into three short paragraphs. But it's done, and after the first email submission, I felt a sense of relief. 

It's a process, getting your novel out into the world. I don't expect to hear anything from anyone anytime soon. But, I do hope that my email will fall into the right inbox at some point. 

Before I hit send to the first literary agent on my list, I had to dig deep and ask myself the question I've been avoiding for months:

Will I be okay with rejection? 

I don't truly know the answer to that. But I'm doing my best to keep my chin up. I hope that keeping some perspective about the business of publishing and realizing that it's all just the nature of the beast, and not necessarily my writing, will help. I've never taken rejection, or criticism well. Writing groups have helped me tremendously with handling criticism. But rejection, it still stings. The fear of it holds me back. But I'm tired of holding myself back, of giving in to fear and letting what I believe other people think of me and my work keep me from pursuing my dreams.

My goal for the summer is to send out as many query letters as possible, and hope that one will stick. While doing so, I'm planning on enjoying time with my children, countless trips to the beach, and some serious self care rituals and routines. For me, that includes getting up early, writing morning pages while sipping tea, exercise, dry brushing {I find it so therapeutic! Look it up if you haven't heard of it}, drinking lots of water, connecting with my husband, and remembering that while my book and my writing is important to me, my worth, my value as a human being, does not rely on finding an agent, and having my book traditionally published. 

But yeah, it'd be nice if I could find a literary agent to represent my book sooner rather than later. 

Managing expectations and reality while staying mildly optimistic will be the true work of my summer. Maybe my life...

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