Writing my way through the Query Trenches
I am there, fully there, deep in the query trenches. And it is wearing. me. down. How many of you have been there before? Are there now? I have spent the past three years really polishing my craft, working nonstop on creating a strong picture book portfolio and finalizing the final draft of my middle grade novel. I spent so much time in the revisions stage, it’s almost – and I mean almost – as though I don’t know how to write anything new… well, that’s not true. But still.
After spending nearly a year primarily in revisions, I have had a really rough time going back to square one creatively, and I’ve been beating myself up over it. Summer was chaos, as usual, juggling kids and travel and work. But now we’re two months into fall and all I have to show for new material are some opening chapters and rough notes for a couple of projects I should be working on. Yet, I can’t find the motivation to choose a project and go with it.
I feel like I have to take a deep breath and rally. Don’t get me wrong. I love to write. That’s why I do what I do. But I also know how long it takes to get those drafts ‘final’ – as in, good enough to submit, to be called ‘complete’ and boy, it takes a loooonnnnng time! I think what’s holding me up is a combination of acknowledging the difficulty and time and effort it takes to complete a project paired with the overwhelming wish that I will open my email to find my very-own-very-big-YES. (Because, let me be clear, there are very-very-very-many-nos along the way to the very-big-YES.)
So how do I rally while I wait? Well, for me, I write this post. I’m not sure if anyone will read it. In fact, I’m pretty sure 0 – 5 people will read it, but this is my documentation, me bearing witness to myself, that this is hard work. So when I do finally get going on a project, when I do finally finish that project, when I do finally get my very-own-very-big-YES, I can look back and see that the highs don’t come without the lows, and that taking the time to put in the work is the only way I made it.
And this post is also for any readers that happen to stumble upon this blog, who are also waiting for their very-own-very-big-YESes. You are not alone! I see you. I’m with you. You got this!
About The Author
Jenny Bowman is a freelance children's book editor and an aspiring children's book author. When she's not writing, you can find her reading, experimenting in the kitchen, or losing track of time on the beach.