Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Query Process: Shades of Charlie Brown?

I am a writer. With a completed thriller and the first draft of my second thriller in the vault (ok, so I don't really have a vault...), I continue to work at my craft (sometimes I even use Popsicle sticks and Elmer's glue), attending workshops and getting up way too early every day to put words to paper. I even  take the writing that I do for my daily job quite seriously. And I make sure that I save time to send out those wonderful query letters, in the hopes of attracting an agent. Kind of like what other people do with fly strips, roach traps, and mosquito netting in other lines of work. For anyone who has queried, we know that at times we are going to get "Dear Occupant" responses and an occasional "Dear Would Be Writer," which is even worse. The "no response" means "no" is also becoming a popular non-response, given that agents are so busy these days. The whole "no response" theme would have made a great Seinfeld episode.

But sometimes, we get a bite on the line. We get a request for a partial manuscript, or, trumpets blaring, a full. Those requests are the ones that evoke the spirit of Charlie Brown, in my mind. In particular, I think of all of the times that Charlie Brown would stare at Lucy, who is holding the football, readying for his approach. There is an implied promise that he will be able to kick the ball and send it sailing. He stands. He watches. Perhaps he even salivates. And then, he takes a running start, lifts his kicking leg, and "AAUGH!" Lucy moves the ball, and Chuck goes sprawling on the ground. 

We put our stuff out there, and, even though we may feel like real blockheads at times (I sure do), we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and get ready to go through the whole thing again.

But, although we may suffer from writer's block at times, we are not blockheads. We are writers. 

Cheers to all writers, readers, and those who love us!