For the past few years, my New Year’s resolution has been to write a new novel. Well, in 2020, I finally did that. So, for 2021, I need a new New Year’s resolution. And here it is, to start Phase Two – getting my work published by a real publisher and into the bookshops, which means being proactive about the other side of this ambition of mine and start submitting.
As I’ve said before, I think this is much harder than actually writing the novels. I have tried before and gave up because it was so demoralising. But here I am again, with my new copy of The Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook, all marked-up with possible agents. I have a spread sheet to work through, and the first five potential agents identified. I’m proof-reading (again) my first three chapters and synopsis, and agonising over the query letter which is supposed to make me sound engaging and yet not too boastful. Next week, I shall fire out my emails, and then sit back and wait, and prepare to repeat the process in a month or so.
As I embark upon Phase Two, my mood is erratic. I vary from being super confident – how could all this work count for nothing, my work is better than some of the dross that is published – to terrified and bitter – how long will I be able to keep this up for, and what will I do if nothing comes of it? I have been here before and lost faith in myself. However, I never lost my desire to write, and because I kept on doing it, my writing has improved since then. So I have to believe that I stand a chance, maybe even a good chance compared to some of the other thousands doing the same thing. If I don’t believe it now, why bother at all?
Who knows, maybe some diligent agent is checking out this website and reading these very words…