Someone’s scraping a shovel against the sidewalk outside, and I’m hugging Toby – much to his dismay.
Usually Andy’s the one coddling The Tobes, but this morning I require a little extra reassurance, and Toby’s blobby self is exactly what I need.
I’m re-reading my query letter for the 400th time, ensuring that the email formatting isn’t going to jack everything up, and double-checking that I did everything exactly the way I was instructed to by the publisher’s website. By the time I get to the last period, I’m exhausted.
My shaky lil finger hovers over the “Send” button for a few seconds.
“Here we go, Tobes!”
He shifts uncomfortably, and hops out of the chair to attack his eyeless Piglet doll.
I send the email, then check my Sent folder to make sure everything looks alright. I exhale, wander around the living room for a minute, and gather my thoughts. This is the first step of many, but getting here has been harder than I thought.
It’s hard to believe that over two and a half years ago, I was jabbering about writing a book. And then I worked and worked and worked, and it felt like the closer I got to the end, the longer the process was going to take. Especially when I realized I had to write a proposal on top of everything else.
But after some intense proposal writing and query letter development, I feel as though I’m pretty good to go. It took a while to figure out how best to structure my proposal – mostly because all of the available articles on the Internets tell you a hundred different ways to write one. But I distilled out what I felt worked best for me and infused the proposal with humor – because if nothing else, I want it to accurately reflect me and my personality.
In all honesty, I had no idea that a proposal was so involved – that it’d need its own table of contents. Between the marketing and promotion sections, the chapter-by-chapter summaries, and all of the other goodies, my proposal ended up being 30 pages. And sure, that’s probably way too long. But at least this way I can pull out parts that various agents/publishing houses may require – and I won’t have to reinvent the wheel every single time.
Late yesterday, I finished re-reading the full memoir – whilst spot-editing for little grammatical mistakes. I cut a few things here, added there. But then, around bedtime, I realized I was as done as I’ll be – and not just with one task, but with everything.
And now, I’m in that terrifying phase of shopping my memoir around to see if anyone wants to bite. In many ways, I’m back at the starting line.
But I’m ready to race.