28 November 2009

The Start of Roller Coaster Rides

Photo: Daveynin

I'm catching up on course work this weekend, stuff I put off until I finished my NaNoWriMo novel. One of the assignments is to write an agent query letter. Sounds easy, looks easy; then why do I hesitate? I'm not a procrastinator by nature, the complete opposite actually. Yet, here I sit writing this post instead of completing my 1st draft of that letter.

Writing the first sentence, which is something I already have from my course work, took twenty minutes to get down; something about needing it to be perfect. I get that written down then I realized I need to give the title of my story. Title, a real title, not just a file name. Another twenty minutes to brainstorm something. (I never realized how hard it is to come up with a title. It's just as well nothing cried out to me, I've heard about other authors' unpleasant experiences with changing titles.) Next comes theme, that was when I went to check my Google Reader and began this post.

Before someone thinks of chiding me for getting to far ahead of myself ... I know my novel is no where near ready to be sent out to anyone except to a few close friends and family members; I did just write my first draft in less than 30 days after all. And I know this assignment is for practice. Yet ...

There is something here that I'm letting myself get stopped by, but I don't know what. It could be any number of things, like fear of rejection or out of practice in formal communication. It's been years since I've produced anything resembling a proposal or had to tout my own accomplishments.

Maybe it's just this assignment brings home to me, like nothing else has, that I'm about to embark on a crazy roller coaster ride of getting a story published.

You know how it is, you stand in line for hours to get on the ride and then your next. A nervous energy has you on edge, and you can't wait for the ride to start. Once strapped in, the car begins that first climb, the longest and biggest of the whole ride; you're giddy with excitement and fear. Then you stop momentarily at the top and look around and see the big drop, the whole park beneath you, and you know there is no turning back. Just as the car inches over the hump, you thrust your hands in the air and hope the strap is on tight.

That's where I am right now with this letter. This letter represents that moment before you begin your drop. I wonder if I'll feel this way again when it comes time to actually send the letter. I hope so. I hope I feel this way each time I get ready to send out a new story.

I'll enjoy the giddy feeling a little longer while I let my brain percolate on Theme. Who knows, maybe something will gel for me and I'll have something cool to write in my letter.

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