Are you ever afraid? Well, I am. This entire week I have been arguing with myself about sending out query letters to agents. Elana Johnson’s workshop at the League of Utah Writers Conference on querying was informative and insightful. I have now written about twenty-five drafts of my letter, and I can’t even tell if it’s good or not.
My letter and my synopsis are both ready to go, I guess. So what keeps me from pushing the SEND button? Well, for one thing, if I send the letter and am rejected then I can’t query that agent again. If I don’t send the letter, then maybe that agent would have accepted me if I had sent the letter. (Silly, I know, but it’s in my head.) For another thing, maybe my writing is not very good, and no one will want to read it. If I said this out loud at any of my three critique groups, they would massacre me on the spot. (So I keep quiet.) Here’s another great argument: I’m used to supporting others in becoming successful – like my husband, kids and friends, but not myself. (I know it’s a lame excuse.)
Okay, so I can identify my irrational thinking. But what do I do about it? Here’s my list:
1.I run my letter and synopsis by my critique group and get their feedback. (Did it.)
2.I set a goal and tell others about it so I’ll follow through. (I’m sending six letters this week.)
3.I get support from my friends by letting them know how I feel. (Thanks for listening.)
4.I keep positive thinking statements pasted on my computer so I can read them and turn my distorted thinking around.
“If you are lucky enough to find something you love, seek the courage to embrace it.”
“Discouragement is not the absence of adequacy but the absence of courage.” Author unknown.
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” Nelson Mandela