The Insecure Writer’s Support Group Gets Artistic (While I Crash Into a Reef)

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Welcome to another Insecure Writer’s Support Group day! To sign up for the Group yourself, join in on the fun and receive all the wonderful support, go here. The awesome co-hosts for the February 5 posting of the IWSG are Lee Lowery, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Jennifer Hawes, Cathrina Constantine, and Tyrean Martinson! Stop by their blogs and offer a thank-you for today.

The optional question for today was: has a single photo or work of art ever inspired a story? What was it and did you finish it? I can’t say a single work of art has inspired one specific story for me, so today I’m going to REBEL and go OFF TANGENT and float OUT TO SEA.

This month my biggest insecurity is the Query Ship, as it sets sail again. In batches of three, my latest begging letter will be heading out to places unknown, trying to lure me in an agent. In honor of the maiden voyage of my completed manuscript, I have decided to start the journey with a nautical theme. Because why not?

This will be the fifth completed book I query. As of now I’m sitting at a 50-60% rejection rate (I like to think of them as ‘ships sunk while in pursuit of glory’). My voyages so far:

  • 40K word historical romance, my first effort, rejected over and over for being too boring. That one’s back in the bin waiting for me to add *excitement*.
  • 20K taboo romance novella, accepted by small eBook publisher eXtasy Books, published 2018
  • 60K new adult romance with paranormal elements, rejected without even one manuscript request. Also binned until I can get a professional editor look at it and point out what I’m doing wrong.
  • 30K taboo romance novella, accepted by eXtasy Books & published 2018.
here be monsters
Here be monsters (if you define monsters as a vicious cycle of hope and rejection, which I totally do.)

This latest effort sits at about 60K and it’s a bit of an enemies to lovers with a secret cinnamon roll supervillain (Bane) and a quietly heroic sidekick (Michaela). It’s already been through one round of professional edits, which were gently and expertly delivered by the wonderful Jen Graybeal. Seriously, she caught so many issues, saved me from so much embarrassment, and had fantastically useful ideas. Go see her if you’re looking for an editor.

The good ship That Wind is the Sound of Your Ego Deflating will be my home for the voyage.

mark watney gif
Yeah, querying a finished book feels a lot like this

Captain Optimism will be navigating, with First Mate Butareyou’Sure at the helm. Various crew members will come and go, I’m sure, including Self Doubt, Confidence, Fear, Hope, Stubborn, Anguish, and Bob. (Bob is there for the comic relief, and we are going to need him.) If things go according to plan, Self Doubt and Anguish will jump ship in the Bermudas and live on the beach making straw bags for tourists while I sail on to success.

I anticipate smooth sailing for about two months, after which the agents will have had time to actually read my query letter. After that six to eight weeks I will hit Rejections Reef and be stranded for a while. 

We’ll be stuck on the Reef for months but don’t worry, I don’t anticipate any desperate drinking of urine, or cannibalism. I’ve had lots of time to store up the provisions of grit just so that doesn’t happen. The onboard menu will include equal amounts baseless enthusiasm, stubbornness, profanity, revisions, and alcohol.

Although I’m hitting this with a healthy dose of sarcasm, I really am excited (and nervous) to launch. In a way, it’s exhilarating. Getting rejected makes me want to work that much harder so I don’t get rejected next time. I don’t intend to live on Rejections Reef forever.

If you’re in the process of querying, make sure to leave me a comment about how it’s going! We’re on this daunting voyage together.

the mostdeliciousand healthysnacks to eat


12 thoughts on “The Insecure Writer’s Support Group Gets Artistic (While I Crash Into a Reef)

  1. LOL I loved your post and how you presented it! Best of luck on your voyage! Make sure you wear your life vest at all times and keep that motion sickness meds close by. Querying is scary! So very scary. So many times to take those hits from rough seas before the calmer waters. 🙂

    1. A life vest! HOW could I forget about one? I am learning to take those hits and keep sailing and, to be honest, I’m finding that experience all on its own super valuable. If querying ends up (another) failure and I decide to try Indie publishing, I suspect I will really need that armor already grown and in place!

  2. I was querying, and then I stopped to do another revision. I let that cool for a while and wrote another rough draft. I’m about half-way through my queryable novel on a final read-through. Once I get all the changes typed in, I’ll start sending out more letters.
    It has been a long, long process for me.

    1. I tend to belong to the “better to take time and do it right” camp, so I see absolutely nothing wrong with this. Good luck, when you do start querying again!

  3. Best to you on your querying journey. I knew the traditional publishing route wasn’t for me so my friend and fellow authoress and I started our own indie publishing company, Morbid Pen Press, last year. I’m planning for my first release by the end of the year. But indie pub is not for everyone. It has its own challenges/pitfalls as well as good points.

    1. Morbid Pen Press sounds pretty cool! Everything I need to know is contained in that phrase, which tells me your team is already good at marketing. I’ll wish you, and your company, the best of luck as you release your first work!

  4. You make it sound almost fun. It’s not, but might as well view it as an adventure. The only way the ship will sink is if you quit. So keep after it – time to change that percentage.

    1. Thank you! I’m clinging hard to the hope (it’s all I have left at this point. Ha). Happy IWSG Day!

  5. Not querying anymore. I queried four books to no avail and now simply Indie it. I am happy enough with that. You have two traditionally published. They don’t want first look at your current mss?

    1. Very cool that you went the Indie route, that takes guts, determination, and marketing skills! No, eXtasy Books doesn’t do first looks as far as I know. A lot of their authors have worked with them for many years, through multiple series, and they run the general outline by the editors before they write each, I think. I wish I could put out series like that!

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