Friday, August 26, 2011

Submission nerves

I wonder when it stops. I assume it must. That horrible feeling, just before you drop something in the mail or hit "Send" or what have you. Just before you submit a work. You'd think I wouldn't much be bothered by it anymore. I've submitted plenty. And the same feeling, strangely, exists just before you upload a new piece to the Kindle. Which I've now done a lot of times, though most of those are minor changes and edits. And yet, it has not gone.

I just sent out a query to an agent whose existence I was aware of only because of a half-seen post on Google+. I don't know what if anything to expect, but the query is for the book that is about to be looked at by a publisher, so maybe something, right? Agents have got to be eager to find clients who have already done much of the work for them. And there's nothing invested in the idea for me, not really: the book's already there, in the publisher's hands, and their consideration of it probably wouldn't be influenced by an agent being in the picture. So I don't know that I need the agent.

It doesn't matter, though. I put together a really brief letter (really brief, because I think saying the book's at a major publisher as I type is about all I need to say), and I copied and pasted the first few pages, and then I hit send. And my stomach twisted and my heart stopped for just a second and I felt rather sick, and then, as always, it was gone. I hate that feeling. I hate more the waiting that comes after, but that feeling is so sudden, and so intense, that it is in many ways worse.

I wonder if it will ever go. I wonder if there are still moments for, say, Stephen King, when he mails off the latest manuscript, and he thinks that just maybe this time they'll say it won't work. Or, even knowing they won't, if he gets queasy all the same. I doubt it, rather. But who knows? Writers are not the most confident of people, and Mr. King is off the drugs now, so maybe he's as mortal as you or I.

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