Thursday, October 10, 2013

Day 67 of 365: Onwards and Upwards

It might've been a bit premature, but I sent out my very first query for my second manuscript.

To say my second manuscript has been hanging out on the back burner ever since my NaNoWriMo whirlwind would be an understatement. I knew editing the book was going to be a bumpy ride. Given my manic writing sessions (and my tendency to type a completely different word than what I was thinking), I knew the proverbial red ink would be flying.

Also, I wasn't sure if I was ready to break down a book about the childcare world. Partly because I'm still a little tender from leaving the education world behind. Partly because I know that the market isn't exactly champing at the bit for a book about daycare centers. Because I have logged at least 100+ man hours editing my first manuscript, only to realize that my pipe dreams of bestsellerdom are exactly that: pipe dreams.

But, as I've mentioned before, I still cast my net out from time to time, the same way a janitor keeps buying one last lottery ticket. The odds are against me, but I can't help but hold out hope that maybe -- just maybe -- I'll luck out this time.

To be honest, I went a little backwards with my second manuscript. Instead of editing it, editing it again, having my peers read it, polishing it up, and then writing a query, I started editing it because I had already figured out how to write its query letter.

For those who haven't spent time around agents or would-be novelists, a query is a glorified cover letter that sums up your book, your publishing experiences, and why your book is obviously going to be a hit. Like regular cover letters, they are about as fun to write as a title deed. And, for the life of me, I couldn't figure out how to start my query for my second manuscript. I came up with one sentence: "All Anne ever wanted was to be a teacher." Which is about as clich├ęd and uninspiring as they can get.

Then, in the middle of a yoga class's savasana (aka the resting pose after a sequence), it finally came to me. Granted, it came at the expense of ~letting go of all my thoughts and emotions~ like I'm supposed to in savasana but, oh well. I go to that particular yoga studio at least once or twice a week. I'd manage.

I scribbled down what I remembered into my little purse notebook (a staple of any pretentious, would-be writer) and, like that, I was off.

Now, sending out the query is a bit premature: I'm only 1/4 of the way done with my first edit. I've probably gone through 4 or 5 rounds of edits with my first manuscript and I still don't consider myself completely done. But it feels good, knowing that I finally have this ball rolling. Granted, I might be Sisyphus, and the direction the ball is rolling is downhill, but at least there's some movement.

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