Ok, so gluttony must be my sin of choice. I'm not referring to food but instead the proverbial bad-to-the-bone query that makes my taste buds dance and my saliva sing like a choir. The rush I get with every touch of the "send" button" sends shivers down my spine while at the same time, makes me feel oh so guilty for having done it. Should I have sent that? Or should I have waited until he/she made the first move? Eh, just go with it.
My determination isn't marked by how far I'll eventually get. It's marked by every person who passes on my work. "It's okay, little fella," Lilliana says, often. And it is. An honest tale that involves some sensitive issues, (i.e. cutting, depression, murder), may not be to everyone's liking, and I'm okay with that. But my story isn't FOR everyone. It's for those young adults who are going through the same sensitive issues I write about and a lot of people won't talk about. You want to know what teens these days are dealing with, mosey on over to my favorite advocates To Write Love On Her Arms and you'll see what needs to be written about and who my intended audience is.
I bring this up because about a year back, I sent a query to an agent who I thought suited my edgy fiction to a T. Let me preface this by saying this was the first (and worst) query I've ever written, there were grammatical errors, it was info dumpy, and didn't represent me or the story I wanted to tell in the most flattering light. I was brand new and didn't yet know the best way to go about the whole submission thing, but I pressed "send," anyway. To my delight, it wasn't but a few hours later I got a request for a full.
Fast forward to yesterday. Because my story has been completely re-written, (with the name changed and everything), I decided to query this agent again, purely out of curiosity, because she is still looking for "writer's who aren't afraid to take a risk." I'm sorry, but that sounds a lot like me, (I think). It was a polished, poised query that best represents me and the book I'm trying so hard to put into those YA readers' hands. She passed immediately.
Confusing literary agent say what? I understand tastes change but, how could one version of my story which was located in Suckville get more attention than something a little farther North in Getting Closerville? This business has my head spinning, though I'm oddly addicted to the challenge. Sure, I cry more than I ever have these days, but waking up every day, wondering if it's the day I get a "yes" is kind of a thrill. Who will it be to discover me? Anyone? Any takers? Seriously.
I wish I had more advice for all you writers, but today I just don't. I'm confused and feeling a little defeated by the irony of someone accepting "mediocracy" over "new and improved." I 'spose I'll just label this as another thing I can't control and another thing that makes me want it that much more. Or better yet I'll file it under "I will never know what each agent wants at any given time, therefore just keep your chin up and keep trying, little fella."