There’s one distinct (and lonely) advantage to not having anyone in my real life that can relate to the struggles of an aspiring writer: it precludes my urge to whine. If no one has any idea of just what’s so important about a query letter, then whining about not wanting to do it isn’t going to get me a lot of traction.
“So don’t do it, then.”
“But I have to.”
“So do it.”
“But I don’t wanna…”
“Aarrgh!! You not helping!”
So like a garage full of old paint cans and greasy rags, I lack ventilation, in the sense I can’t vent properly. So that usually leaves me no choice but to suck it up and just do it. But like that garage, if I can’t vent sooner or later, eventually I'll become toxic. I love my wife, and she is the most supportive person I’ve ever known, but she doesn’t know the intricacies of the publishing world. She can’t point out the importance of the query letter or observe that I’m not procrastinating out of laziness or inconvenience, but because I know this is my shot – if I screw up the query, it doesn’t matter how good my book is. Three years of my soul in the hands of 300 words (there’s a Thermopylae reference in there somewhere). And my coworkers will never have the insight to point out to me that maybe I’m putting off querying because I know I can’t be rejected if I don’t put myself out there.
As a result, I know that no matter how cutesy/sympathetic/alright-enough-already annoying I am, I can’t whine at home; I can’t whine at work; I can’t even whine on Facebook.
So guess what that leaves?
I don’t want to write my query letter. I’ve spent three years agonizing over this damn book; haven’t I bled enough? I want to catch up on some reading. I want go outside and make snow angels.* I want to watch bad television. Why do I have to write a letter anyway? Can’t I just send them my MS along with a hundred or so cover ideas, my non-negotiable terms, and a list of who I think should play the characters in the movie? Come on!
Hey, that actually worked; I feel so much better now. Alright, enough whining. I’ve got work to do.
* I really, really don’t want to make snow angels.