Who’s in the Trenches with Me?

I’ve heard writing is like having homework for the rest of your life.

Have you? Well, you have now. (You’re welcome.)

I know I’m not the only one who’s struggled through the muck that is know as QueryWriting.
When I consider other writers, I feel like this gif describes their query writing to perfection:

I know this isn’t true. I know my published friends didn’t write their queries with both hands, eyes shut, and in two different languages. They didn’t nail its perfection the first time. ( If you’re a published friend of mine and you actually did do this, I’m sorry, but you’re not my friend anymore. JAY-KAY!)

But it feels true and perception is reality. It’s important to know that perception is reality sometimes, too. While it can be far from the truth, if someone perceives something to be true or false, such as they can loose the baby weight or they’ll never loose the baby weight, then it anchors to the soul and can become motivation or deprive the person of ever thinking they can.

I’m not special in any way in regards to the difficulties of the query-synopsis drama. For me, it’s death to the muse, it’s pain to the brain, it’s muscle cramping of the gluteus. I’m going through all that, plus a little dizziness as I circles around and look at my query every few days–tweaking and swapping out words, cutting and adding.

I believe I can write a good query. I know it–because my first one didn’t suck too bad. I did get two personalized rejections from it. But what I don’t think will happen is that I’ll get to that magical query letter –the one that will win everyone over.

My query seem to be constantly split in half by my critics. Half love sentences 1, 3, and 5, but see flaws in 2, 4, and 6. The other half hate 1, 3, and 5, but love 2, 4, and 6. and that’s just the first paragraph.

It’s a freakin’ showdown.

So, while I try to tackle it, one sentence at a time, I’m also trying to do about 9K other writing things:

♥ I’m polishing a chapter for the First Chapter Contest at LDStorymakers.
☻I have to get ten pages and a whole different query ready for Publication Primer at Storymakers.
♣ I am pitching at Storymakers.
♠ I’m mentoring and writing with a long-time friend, who only started her writing journey in December–super fun, btw.
♫ I’m excited to host a writing weekend February 20th with my Storymakers roommates–so excited. You have no idea.
► I’ve been critiquing other writer’s first chapters.
♪ I’ve got this urge to participate in the slush pile simulation class, which means having a first page ready for submission. This should be fairly easy. I just need to decide WHICH first page to send. Or how to submit multiple pages. *insert evil laugh*
♥ I’m co-authoring–for the first time, and SO FUN!–with a friend and while it’s her turn to write today, it might be my turn tomorrow.
→ I have a few chapters to read and critique for a dear friend.
↔ I have a NaNo project that’s not finished, and I want to get back to it so bad!
►School book orders to place, because who doesn’t l♥ve Scholastic? Plus, what kind of writing mom would I be if I didn’t buy my kids books?
☻Hungry mouths to feed.
♪ Fires to put out.
Oh, wait. I’ve drifted from the writing stuff.

I does appear my writing load would be significantly less if I were to scratch the whole conference thing, but the idea is just crazy talk. I love this load I’m carrying. I’d just like a magic wand to make the query writing sparkle.

And what about all the books I want to read?


Needless to say, I consider myself a working mom now, with the perks of being a stay-at-home one. I’ve learned to say no to a few things to make time for writing, but it’s hard to say no to sick kids, grocery shopping, and laundry. Well, it’s easy to say no to the shopping and laundry, but it’s not worth the tears and agony that come about when I do.

The best advice I’ve received in regards to being in the trenches and overwhelmed comes from within–but I’m sure the credit goes to my mom, my dad, and every teacher I ever had. Prioritize. Start with what’s most important.

Looking at my list, I didn’t write them in order, but I’m certain I can take a few minute and sort them out.

If you’re in the trenches regard writing deadlines or agent hunting, or just in the early stages of writing and thinking you’ve bit off more than you can chew, or you’re somewhere in the middle and that MS is staring at you like it owns a piece of your soul (which, if you write like me, it does,) my best advice is to KEEP GOING!

Keep your chin up, you can do this. Prioritize and recognize your humanity and your sanity are worth saving, but understand it’s going to take sacrifice to get there. Keep your perspective in check, so it doesn’t blow out of proportion and you get trampled down with the “I’ll Nevers” and the “I Cants.”

You did homework as a kid. You’ve got this. (Of course, I’m sure it swings back and forth between all these different outcomes when it comes to homework.) Laugh. It’s funny.

One thought on “Who’s in the Trenches with Me?

  1. Querying is my least favorite part of writing. Maybe that’s why I don’t do it anymore 😉 In all honesty, though, advice I got from one of my painting classes in college has really helped me in my writing and other areas of life. It was simple and kind of silly as I think of it now, but I had been working on a single painting, a master study of a Waterhouse painting, for the majority of the semester and it just never seemed quite “done.” My painting professor, Bill Hatch, finally walked up behind me one day and said, “It’s done. Put your paintbrush down and start something new.” I think he might have just been sick of looking at that painting, but either way, it actually stuck with me and now I often reach a point in a project, writing or otherwise, and I just have to put it down and say, “It’s done.” I don’t go back to it. I move on to a new project and don’t look back whether I have that nagging feeling that it could use a little more tweaking or not. It’s just done. And now that I have written you a novel about this, I’ll be done and go do something else 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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