Sing it with me...
Everything I do, I do it for...ME!
Well, not everything, but everything having to do with writing. Writing is the most selfish thing I've done for myself in a long time. As a mom and wife, most of what I do tends to revolve around everyone else. I think that's also why I'm so addicted to the night time; it's the only time I have entirely to myself, and it's hard to let that go. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy having time with the kids, time with the family and time with just my husband. It's just that I also enjoy time to myself. I'm about one step up from a hermit sometimes in needing time to myself.
Writing, however, is something I enjoy, and it has nothing whatsoever to do with anyone else. I'm very lucky to have a husband who is entirely supportive, and who watches the kids so I can go to all these writing things. He even misses work here and there for some of the meetings, as well as two days for the conference. He rocks!
E is also for...
I'm not a phone person, so I tend to prefer emails. However, some of those emails can be nerve wracking to send. For instance, submitting a story to a magazine/anthology/contest. Sending an email to make a connection with someone or some entity, like a writer's group, is also something that makes me uncomfortable, and that I've done recently. Once you send that email, there is no taking it back (well, most of the time). There's such an odd feeling of relief and trepidation in those moments after the message disappears from the outbox.
But the one that made me think of this topic is one I'm going to come clean about, because it is a bit embarrassing. There was an opportunity presented from one of the circles I've been in lately with other writers. It was to present an idea that could be pitched and possibly lead to something more, like publishing. I went back and forth on it for a couple days (there was a deadline of about a month, I think), then sat down and worked on a bit of a query letter, though it was an informal thing. I tried to make the query letter semi-formal, but also friendly, as it was meant to be informal, but I thought it would be good practice for a query letter, as well. I agonized over it, edited it, let it sit to be sure this was really what I wanted to do, edited it some more. I had to agree to talk on the phone if the person was interested, which, as I've already mentioned, is not my thing. I was nervous as can be about that aspect, as well as the risk of being rejected.
I'm not a fan of rejection. Who is?
I finally sent it.
Know what? I never heard back. No rejection. No sign it had been received. It was not an agent I was sending it to, so we're not talking about a situation where 600 queries are received. It was an offer open only to a specific group of people.
I have no idea if it was received, or if I even sent it successfully. It was not from my email, but via an online program.
It was rather anti-climactic after all the fear and pondering whether I was going to send it. All that back and forth and anxiety, for nothing. For disappointment, plain and simple. I wish I knew if the person thought the idea sucked, if my query sucked, or if it just wasn't received. However, I didn't want to harass the person by following up, thereby possibly burning a bridge or angering them and getting back a nasty rejection. I still have to co-exist with said person in said circle.
I don't wish I hadn't sent it, though. It was very far outside my comfort level, and I'm glad I took the step. I probably should have followed up, very briefly and politely, though it is too late now. For awhile, I just kept checking for messages and waiting, waiting, waiting. At that point, I just thought I was waiting for that response and giving them time. We learn not to harass actual agents with follow-ups, right? I felt like it was the same sort of thing, where my following up wouldn't be taken well. But now I wonder if I was just chicken and missed an opportunity.
What would you have done? Would you have followed up or let it go and waited? Would you have approached a situation like that with an official query letter or with a completely informal note?
And what selfish things do you do for yourself?