Remember my post about gardening? And how I didn't bring it all back around to writing at the end?
I wish I could say this one, a follow-up post, would be the same way. But the images-- they are aplenty in my head.
To catch everyone up, I am currently querying a commercial fiction novel. Well, mostly. I'm technically on query hiatus as of right now, only because I have so much else going on until my wedding in October. Once that's over with though, I intend to dive back in head first-- though that doesn't mean I won't cheat and send a few out in the meantime.
A couple weeks ago, I wrote about the pumpkins I'm attempting to grow in my backyard for said wedding, and my fears that previous planticides were indicative of my inability to take care of anything botanical. (Wow, did I used enough big words in that sentence?)
And I have to admit that I treat querying the same way. It frankly scares me to do it at times because I've failed before. What if this time isn't different? What if this time, they not only say no, but call me a silly hack who never has a hope of a writing career please stop now before you hurt someone?
Well, to all of that, I say this:
Cling to the small successes.
For my first concern, the pumpkin vines in my yard, I give you the following evidence. What was bare dirt and hard work a mere four weeks ago has turned into this:
For queries, I see the small successes as requests for partials and fulls. Sure, that in and of itself hasn't landed me an agent yet, but it means that something I'm doing is headed in the right direction. I can only hope that if I keep growing and learning, I will do more right and make it to my goal.
My plants are oddly demonstrative of this point right now. If you notice in the picture above, I have lots of little sprouts and that one random HUGE cluster. Here's a not-blurry close up of those guys for you:
Those leaves up there? They are as big as my HEAD. Yeah.
So not all of my pumpkin vines (all 38 that sprouted!) are growing into giant mutants (SEEEEEY-MOUR!), but they're there, and they're growing slowly but steadily. Once I figure out what I've done so correctly with this particular group, I can apply it to the rest (I have a feeling it's really mostly just sunshine, but that's a whole other metaphor/analogy). And you know what? I'm fine with the others not being so large and beautiful just yet. They'll get there, or, maybe they won't. Everyone has a weakness and a flaw.
I'm just happy that I have something I can point to and say, "Hey! Look! I did that, and I did it right." The rest will come with time and practice.