Friday, June 1, 2012

First Query Letter... Ever.

Today, I sent off my first query letter.

It was probably the scariest and most exciting thing I'd ever done.

I had her email address in the "Send To" box, and the words Query Letter as the title, but I still wasn't ready.

I switched back to my query letter and read it.

Cut out a 'that'.

Then I read it again.

Reworded a sentence.

Then read it again.

My fingers started to tremble, because I was running out of things I knew how to fix.  And I knew that once I couldn't find anything wrong, I'd have to send it.

I asked my mom to read over it.

Changed another sentence.

When my mom said it was good, I nodded and pasted my query into the email.

Read over it again.

Everything was fine.

I was done.

And being 'done' scared the crap out of me.  I'd never been done before.  Done with a draft, but never like... done. Finished.  The End.

I moused over the 'send' button, but something held me back.  I touched the 'left click' button on the mouse, but couldn't press it.  There had to be something I was missing.

After reading over it ONE. MORE. TIME. I decided I had to go for it.

I took a deep breath and got ready to press it again.

No, actually, I took a deep breath, crossed my fingers, crossed my toes, my legs and my arms and shut my eyes.

Carefully, I pressed it.

But I didn't let go.  I held it down, knowing the moment I picked up my finger, it would be sent.

Then of course, my mom came over and lifted up my hand from my computer.

Message sent.

I spent about an hour trying to stay calm after that.  I'd start cracking up randomly and then feel a little queasy.  Finally, I settled down and was pretty much okay.

How do you guys feel about sending out query letters?  Do you get nervous?

Have an awesome weekend!



Sarah Faulkner said...

Wow! That sounds intense. I've written a query letter for my WiP but so far I don't feel like this draft is ready to be sent. Like you, I dread the idea of sending my query. On one hand it's really exciting and on the other it opens me up rejection, which no one ever likes. :P

I wish you luck!

E. Arroyo said...

First off you should celebrate! That first one is always hard.

Julie Dao said...

Ahhhhh! Good for you! I will be sending my "first" one next week (and that's in quotation marks because I was asked to send one a couple years ago, but this time will be unsolicited). So nervous, but I think the even scarier part will be seeing Re:Query in my inbox. GOOD LUCK!

T. Z. Wallace said...

So proud! It is a wonderfully difficult and nauseating and brave thing to do. Hang on, the ride is just now starting!

Esther Spurrill-Jones said...

I've never done it, but I can imagine I would feel pretty much the same. Just thinking about maybe doing it someday makes me feel faint.

Rena said...

Congratulations! The first one is so scary. It seems impossible to send out so many hopes in 250 words.

Good luck!

Liz said...

Now you must forget about it. It does get easier after this.

davidgmckendry said...

Remember, to put it in perspective statistically, you may need to send hundreds of query letters before getting a positive response. But when you get that positive response, that is when you should get nervous. So just figure out who the next few hundred addressees will be and keep cranking. All you need is one positive response. And who knows, it may have already been put in motion. :)

Jenny Morris said...

The first one is hard. I think I did a very similar nervous dance. Congrats though. It will get easier. ;0)

Dana said...

Congrats to you! That was a huge step. Now celebrate. :)

Cherie Larkins said...

Hugs to you! And lots of good luck your way.

I wasn't as nervous as you. I merely crossed my fingers and sent it off. Then I went back to rework my query letter. LOL! I must have rewritten it 10 times before I got it to the version that landed me my agent. :)

Angela Brown said...

So glad you got your query letter sent out. Admittedly, the very first time sending a query letter can be nerve wracking. You can't wondering about all the "what if"s.

At some point, if you're serious about seeking and agent or submitting to an editor, you've got to actually send the query letter.

First time queasy.
Second time still not easy.
Third time could be the charm...but if not, you've started on the path.

Cortney Pearson said...

Congrats to you!! That first one is definitely tough. And yes, I get SO nervous every time I hit send!! Good luck!

JEFritz said...

Nervous? How about terrified? It's so hard to stop tweaking the query letter and just hit send. But there's only so much you can do to it.

Congratulations being DONE :)

Morgan said...

Loved this! I totally get the jitters ;)

Cary said...

I am still too chicken to send mine and i have 2 finished novels and another one nearly complete...Great job and best of luck!


Candilynn Fite said...

Reading your post was like reading a thriller novel! Way intense. Yes, it can be nerve-wrecking. I was complete mess my first query, too. I sweated, gagged, spun in my computer chair, toyed with the computer keys, read it until my eyes bugged...oh gosh! I'm sweating just thinking about the day!

Best of luck to you. And I agree, it's a time to celebrate, not fret. Walk away from your email for a while, don't check it every moment. Reward yourself with a bit of fun. :)

Reiko said...

How exciting! You'll be a pro before you know it! Love, Grandma

Chuck said...

Sounds courageous...assume a positive attitude through the assumption of a negative result and you'll be okay. My tip of the day.

Jillian Schmidt said...

I do a similar hesitation/obsession email dance whenever I submit a short story, and I imagine it will only be worse when I'm sending out queries for a novel. Congrats to you for taking this step, and best of luck!

Jamie Burch said...

Congratulations on all you've accomplished so far! That's huge!

I'll think of you when I finally revise and send out my first query. Right now it needs a lot of work.

Good luck to you!

Callie Leuck said...

I love the play-by-play here, Jess. I imagine I'll feel the same way when I send a query. Congratulations on your first!

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