It’s taken me years to actually send out one of my novels to agents. Literally years.
It wasn’t that I was scared of rejection, I expected rejection. It wasn’t that I didn’t know how to do it, I totally knew. It wasn’t that I couldn’t afford the current ‘Writers and Artists Yearbook’, I bought one every year. It wasn’t that my novels weren’t ready, all three of them had been written and rewritten enough to warrant querying agents. I can’t quite put my finger on what stopped me, so I’m assuming it was the usual – a fear of the unknown. Even though I know that fear inside out, even though I live with, and talk about, that fear in my daily life. Even though I haven’t let that fear stop me from doing much bigger, much scarier things. I mean, I even write about that fear. It creeps into everything I write.
Anyway. I did it. I finally sent ‘Lucy Jekyll & Margo Hyde’ to umpteen agents, and have been receiving rejections ever since. That’s fine. It seems more like that was my practice run, and by working through the yearbook, getting to know all of the literary agents and what they’re looking for, I’ve made the unfamiliar familiar, and much less scary. I know now which agents would be interested in ‘Little Lost’, ‘Spoons’, and my non-fiction book proposal ‘How One Person Can Change The World’.
I feel much more prepared for this process now that I know how it works, and despite all of the reading and research I covered over the years, desperately trying to work out how it’s done, the only way to know was to actually do it myself. So if you’re hesitating, unsure how to go about it and catch the eye of an agent, just do it. You do know how. Just send everything to everyone. I’m always up for having a conversation if you need one.
This is a huge hurdle I’ve climbed over, and a huge milestone in my progress as a writer. I’m pretty proud of myself over here. Yay me. Now to send the next novel out into the world…