Submission to a Literary Agent – Can I Handle the Agony?

Yesterday morning, I emailed off my query letter, my synopsis, and the first five pages of my novel to a literary agent.  So I’m back in the agent-search game.  But may I vent a little right now, and say that I hate this game?

First, an aspiring author (me, for example) spends countless hours over several years writing a book.  She alternates between loving her creation and being in despair over it.  It’s her child, the child of her deepest inner self.

Then, it comes time to find a literary agent to represent her.  She carefully proofreads her submission, and with a trembling finger on the left-click, she hits Send.

Then she waits.  A day or two?  Oh, no.  Try FOUR WEEKS.  Or maybe six to EIGHT weeks.  Okay, so to be fair, literary agents are swamped with submissions, and they have to wade through a lot of caca.  But don’t they know we’re out here suffering debilitating separation anxiety while our baby is away????  Don’t they care??????

The agent-search game feels like a magnified version of selling my creations on Magic Carpet Dance Arts, my Etsy shop for tribal fusion belly dance accessories.  I craft a piece of jewelry or clothing, take the best photos of it that I know how, write text about it, and list it on my shop.  Then I haunt my site, checking all day long to see if I’ve gotten any new hearts (Etsy’s version of favorites).  I listen for the ping of my computer saying I’ve received an email, and rush to see if it’s a sale.

I wish that so much of ME wasn’t wrapped up in each thing I make.  I wish I could separate my sense of self-worth from the reception my creations receive. But if I didn’t have so much of ME invested, would my work be as authentic?  It’s a tough balance.

Speaking of balance, I think I shall be balanced and go to bed.  After I check my Etsy site once more.


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