So, apologies in advance for this post.
I've been having kind of a weird experience with my querying novel, ONE, and I'm trying to figure out exactly what it is.
I'm having trouble letting it go. Like, really, really feeling okay with whatever happens to it.
I don't know if it has something to do with my rising number of (form) rejections - 38 to date - or the dwindling number of agents remaining on my "to-query" list.
I don't know if it's because I somehow keep navigating back to the playlist for the MS on Spotify - like, once, twice a week. (I know. It's BAD.)
With my first MS, The Travelers, I remember adjusting pretty quickly to the idea that it'd get put in the drawer. It took me a couple weeks, yeah, but even I could pick out some things that people might not like about the poor sweet thing. Plus, it was my first. Everyone knows firsts don't get published.
I pulled myself up by my bootstraps and started writing again. And, in six sweet months, out came a shined-up version of ONE.
I followed (most of) the YA "rules" - I wrote it in first person (first person present even!), I didn't include any love triangles, or main characters with red hair, there's no sex, not a whole lot of swearing, no preaching (of course,) no snark for snark's sake. There's no insta-love (after the second revision,) or insta-friends, or unflawed heroine. There are no absent parents, dead or otherwise, and no crushes from the best friend. It's not too long, it's not too short, it's in a genre that all the agents seem to be asking for.
Also, it's a good story. I think.
I revised and re-revised and re-re-revised and re-re-RE-revised the query.
The only thing left to think I did wrong is the writing itself.
Now, normally I'm pretty good at self-deprecation. For real. Ask my CPs. I'll tell you any day I'm unattractive, or a bad friend, or a lazy mother. Definitely I assume myself dense a lot of times, and quite easily too.
I'll even tell you that what I wrote sucks.
Except, this time when I try to tell myself that?
That it must be the book, the whole darn thing, that's wrong?
I can't make myself believe it.
Well, I can. But only, like, 70%.
And that's not enough.
See, sweet readers,
- and if it was possible to think this thought in a whisper, I would -I think I believe in this MS.
I don't know why I think it should be pulled out of the slush over all the, well, SLUSH.
(In fact, I feel like a jerk even saying that.)
I don't know what this means. Right now, I don't think it means that I'll self publish the thing. But I also don't think I'll give up. In fact, even though I know it makes absolutely zero sense, I kind of feel like starting on TWO (yes, that's what the sequel would be called, no, I'm not kidding) after my current WiP starts querying.
Is this normal? Am I not humble enough, or does this weird, unshakable belief in my work mean that I'm finally becoming A Real Writer?
Do you guys feel this way about some MS of yours, drawered, or querying, or in progress?
What do I do?
Do I try to get over it?
Do I keep believing, but keep the belief tucked in the corner of my mind, where it occasionally floods me with longing, or sadness, or regret, even though there's nothing I think I could have done differently?
Or do I say, "Screw It, I'll do anything to pub this story," even after of 100% rejections, even with the voice in my ear saying, "Self publishing is for people who could get an agent, not people who couldn't?"
Your input greatly appreciated - right now, I'm vacillating between feeling silly and convicted, and it's an odd place to be.