What’s the Word for Ecstatic/Terrified?

Posted: February 4, 2015 in Writing
Tags: , , ,

We have officially taken the plunge.

Okay, we have officially dipped the tip of our big toe in. Yay! (That’s the “ecstatic” part.)

My daughter and I sent out our first agent query letter. Just the one. It turns out this is much more difficult than sending out your manuscript to critiquers or beta readers or even co-workers or family members. Because 1) you can still fix your manuscript, and 2) because none of them are (presumably) holding your writing career in the palm of their hands. Well, technically they’re holding your manuscript, so they are. But I mean they aren’t (probably) in a position to propel you to fame or reject you with a form letter.

Agents are different than mere mortal readers. And they have the power to do this even before you send them your actual manuscript. So cheeky! But they nevertheless hold the keys to the traditional publishing kingdom. So it pays to make a good impression.

The problem – as with all first impressions – is that you only get one. You fail to impress a prospective agent with either your query or your proposal, and you can cross them off your list. No second chances.

That’s the “terrified” part.

I mean, how do I know if we’re doing it right? We expect to get rejected. Repeatedly. Even if our book is brilliant and commercial and just what the market is craving, it won’t be right for every agent’s list, or the right time, or too close to something they just accepted last week. So there will be plenty of No’s before we get to a Yes. If we do. But what if all of the No’s are because the book is awful? Or worse, what if the book is great, but the query is awful?

It’s entirely possible some sweet and thoughtful agent will take the time to write a note telling us why they rejected us and how to fix it. But how many “perfect fit” agents will we have ruined our chances with before that happens?

What is the word for ecstatic/terrified? I think it’s “query.”

  1. Beth says:


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good luck! I hope you get signed right away, but I know it’s frustrating. I began querying last year around this time. I sent out 12 queries in three months and received 12 rejections, though one of them was after a request for a full manuscript. I never received a reason for why it was rejected other than “it’s not what we’re looking for right now.” The rejections were all cordial. After I received the rejection of the manuscript (though the agent said the concept was ‘fabulous’), I took it upon myself to do a massive rewrite. To me, when the agent said she didn’t fall in love with the manuscript but loved the idea… that meant the execution of the idea wasn’t spot on. Was that a hard pill to swallow? Yes. Is it frustrating to be in the midst of another massive rewrite? Of course. But is the manuscript turning out to be so much better? Absolutely.
    I hope this is not your story, but if it is, don’t fret! We’ve all been through it before.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you, everyone. We feel better knowing you wish us success.


  4. Kathryn Clark says:

    Congratulations, and good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

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