April 4, 2011

The Aspiring Writer's Soundtrack

Specifically, this song » Haven't Met You Yet by Michael Buble

I've found that many a writer and agent have compared the agent search to dating. You have to look at compatibility in terms of genres, likes and dislikes, communication, what you want out of the relationship, long-term commitment or just a one night book fling, etc. So you do your research, find an agent you believe is The One, stalk memorize their interviews and submission requirements, fret for days, and then, because your CP threatens you with evisceration and/or other Unpleasant Things, you finally shoot off a query with a mixture of dread and anticipation.

Three weeks later, you get a form rejection. Ouch. But, hey, sometimes it's just not meant to be, and you have to move on.

This is where the song comes in. It should be on every aspiring writer's soundtrack.

I've broken my heart so many times I stopped keeping track
Talk myself in, I talk myself out
I get all worked up then I let myself down

I tried so very hard not to lose it
I came up with a million excuses
I thought, I thought of every possibility

Every rejection you receive makes you second guess yourself. You wonder if the problem was your query, your sample pages, the agent's tastes, or whether you're just a talentless hack who should give up and drown your sorrows in a gallon of double chocolate fudge swirl ice cream. You have to sit your confidence down and give it a pep talk just to send off the next query.

On the bright side, you do grow a thicker skin!

I might have to wait, I'll never give up
I guess it's half timin' and the other half's luck

The thick skin is important. Listen to Churchill; he had it right. Never, ever give up. And, unfortunately, a lot of it is timing and luck. Getting the right manuscript into the hands of the right agent at the right time. So focus on what you can control--the quality of your work. Make it the best you possibly can and then send off those queries and cross your fingers.

Somehow I know that it'll all turn out
You'll make me work so we can work to work it out
And promise you, kid, that I'll give so much more than I get
I just haven't met you yet

I love how optimistic the lyrics are! Someday, your time will come. But when it does, the work doesn't stop there. Now, you've got an advocate, but you have to work harder than ever to keep the relationship together and to deliver your best. And I, for one, look forward to it!

And I know that we can be so amazin'
And bein' in your life is gonna change me
And now I can see every single possibility

Okay, still true, but it's probably best not to write love sonnets to your agent until the contract is signed and s/he can't back out of it without more paperwork and awkwardness. *cue maniacal laughter*

What's a song on your personal soundtrack? ♥

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