It’s a simple button. Between email and texting, we do it all the time without thinking. So, why is it that my finger was hovering over the mouse in trepidation this time?
This weekend I sent my baby to the publisher who requested it. Yet my concerns didn’t revolve around my story. It’s all the other things that drive me crazy. If you’ve ever entered a contest or queried an agent, you probably know what I’m talking about.
What should I put in the title of the email? Should I address the agent/editor as Miss, Mrs, or Ms? I actually scoured the web one time to find out if a short story magazine editor was married so I wouldn’t goof that up! One magazine said to put a cover letter on the first page of the document, but then said a cover letter wasn’t necessary later in the submission requirements. Not a good thing for someone who gets paranoid about details. To make matters worse, when I emailed them, they said to put the cover letter in the body of my email. Grrrrrr…..
Why do I sweat these things? Because I realize that there’s hundred, if not thousands, of other people out there who are sending in stories. I also realize that agents and editors are extremely busy. They can’t read every manuscript they get in their entirety. I imagine they must form very quick opinions of a writer, sometimes just by reading the query letter.
Every writer wants their story to be read. I sweat the details because they can be a gateway or a barricade to one’s writing success. I’ve spent just as much time on the few query letters I’ve written as I’ve spent on getting a page of my story right. This time was even more important because the publisher had asked for my novel. I didn’t want to do anything to lessen one of my better chances at getting published.
So, there I was, sitting with my laptop, and my finger hovering over the mouse button to click send.
And then God stepped in and did something very gracious. My phone rang, and it was a call I needed to take. After I started talking, I realized the conversation might take a while. I clicked send and it was done. When I get off the phone, I wandered out to the kitchen and told my wife I’d sent my book to the publisher. Thankfully, the phone conversation took away the edge to the reality of what I’d done. Thanks, Jesus.
Now, I enter a more dangerous game. The waiting.
What about you? Have you ever agonized over clicking the send button? What are some of the crazy things you’ve worried about when sending off one of your babies?