I have a confession to make. I'm really enjoying the query process.
Last week I sent out 8 queries to 8 different agents at 8 different agencies. I was a good little girl and triple checked all guidelines, got all of my documents in order and reviewed all of my submissions before hitting the send button. As of this post I've had 3 rejections. The first one I printed off and tacked up on my bulletin board (right above my computer). The other two I have welcomed with open arms.
Is it that I secretly don't want to get published? No. Is it that I'm a masochist and feeding on rejection? Nope.
It's because I am a collector. I collect experiences in life and to do that I have to immerse myself in that experience. All of it. The good and the bad. Getting rejection letters from some of the industry's top agents? That's part of it, therefore, I'm actually kinda giggly that I even got a response! That first rejection letter made me feel like a "real" author, not just somebody who likes to write in her "spare" time. I know I say this now, with a paltry 3 rejections in one week under my belt, but really, I handle rejection better than the thought of getting published.
Rejection is easy. I've been on the receiving end of that one for a while now in various forms. I've also been on the giving end and I know it's not always easy.
But acceptance. That's something entirely different. That's uncharted territory. The whole process of someone coming to me and saying, "I love this idea, let's move forward," is undiscovered country and that is terrifying. (In a good way.) The idea of actually DOING rather than FANTASIZING? Yeah, kinda freaky, but again in a good way! It's the trepidation of climbing the rollercoaster hill, wondering if you're going to throw up or have a great time. It's the same kind of stomach flop you get before you kiss someone for the first time.
Believe me, I've had fantasies. Seeing my name on the New York Times bestseller list...sitting on a panel at San Diego Comic Con with a huge contingent of geeks like me avid about my stories...but those are exactly that. Fantasies. They are icing on the cake. It's all fluff.
What it's really about is completion of an experience. Fruition. Coming to the top of the mountain. It's about putting myself out there and saying "I am here. I made this."
Besides...what was the point of writing the novel in the first place? Was it to get published? No. I wrote it because I had a story to tell. I wrote it to challenge myself. And I'm writing its sequel to up the ante.
It's an experience. And dammit, I'm going to enjoy every second of it....even the rejection letters.