I have a ten year old daughter. This means I have to watch kid shows. I watch a lot of kid shows. And we watch movies, and I’m constantly traumatized, but it all goes with the territory. She had this thing for “Sharkboy and Lavagirl” a few years ago. I never really figured out how to move on with my life after that one. I’ve had trouble putting any sort of trust into this kid after the tenth consecutive run of that stupid movie. However, she won me back over.
“We Bought a Zoo.” Boom.
I’m sure you’re thinking, “But Meli, um, this blog is about you being a writer reject. What does that have to do with tigers and bears?” Ah. But it does.
Bravery has always been an issue with me. I can remember running around the outskirts of town with my childhood friends Missy and Danny…those two wanting to sneak onto some old guy’s land to play in his creek and me pausing at the fence, terrified. I couldn’t hop the fence. I’d catch my pant leg and hang myself. Or the wire would snap and hit me in the face. Then a bull would come out of nowhere to harpoon me, and surely the old dude was waiting in the wings to shoot trespassers anyway. They were thinking that we were all totally down for catching frogs and I was thinking my life was sure to end that very day.
So fast forward fifteen years and I’m curled up on the couch, chewing on a Moon Pie and watching Matt Damon’s gorgeous face dance across the screen. “You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage,” says his character, Benjamin Mee, “just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.”
Well, hot dog.
This past Wednesday was Manuscript Wish List day on Twitter. Until that day, the only submission I’ve made was to a contest. The idea of querying agents is…oh my gosh, is it overwhelming. I hopped on during my breaks and lunch to sift through the hashtags, checking to see who is looking for a New Adult coming-of-age manuscript. I found loads, but my hesitation came in the form of a stampede. The doubt that I’m even ready to put myself out there like that was the weight on my arm that begged my hand to rest, to not click the mouse to advance through the process. I’m limited in what I can do at this point, mind you, as my pitch is okay but my query letter is still in the works. But I found a few agents who only wanted summaries and sample chapters. I’ve got those. I had everything I needed to give it a shot. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.
And then I remembered that stinkin’ movie.
Twenty seconds of insane courage. I pulled up my pitch. I copied it. I contemplated pasting it. I considered watching television instead. I remembered why I’m doing this entire thing in the first place: because it’s still illegal in the United States to shoot me if you think my pitch and sample chapters suck. And I remembered the twenty seconds of courage.
I hit send.
Do I feel better now? Oh heck no. I’ve got more to worry about now than I did before. I totally expect to get that first rejection just any time now and I’m not positive that I’m emotionally prepared to handle that first big, resounding ‘no.’ But did I do something brave? Did I display extreme courage?
But now the real struggle begins.
Submissions: 3 / Rejections: 0