Hey there, y’all! Call me foolish, but I’m entering 2018 incredibly optimistically. I know, almost everybody enters a new year optimistically, with their New Year’s resolutions about joining a gym or working to become a happier person, and I also know that usually those resolutions fall through in one way or another. But that’s why I didn’t make any resolutions like that. Sure, those are things I’d like to do, but there’s only one thing I need to do, so that’s the goal I’m focusing on. My single goal for 2018 is to get a literary agent.
In my last post I was waffling back and forth between whether I wanted to self or traditionally publish. It wasn’t the first time I’ve battled that dilemma, but this time I’ve come to the decision that the best choice for me and for my book is to at least try to traditionally publish first. If that doesn’t work out, then I’ll try to self-publish, but I actually really hope it doesn’t come to that. I want to walk out of 2018 with an agent and maybe even a publishing deal, if I’m reaalllyyyy lucky. But just an agent would be fine with me, ya know?
I will admit, though, as I’ve been preparing to query agents starting in January, I’ve been battling a lot of self-doubt about myself and my book. Some days I’ll be so confident, thinking, “Oh, there’s no way at least one agent won’t want to represent me.” Other days I’ll think, “My book sucks, it’s too much like this book and that book and OH NO NOBODY IS GOING TO WANT TO REPRESENT ME OH GOD WHY?!?!?!” Needless to say, It’s been an emotional roller coaster. And it’s not like I don’t think my book is good, because it is. And hot damn, the entire series is going to (hopefully) blow people’s minds. But that doesn’t mean that sometimes I don’t doubt it or my abilities as a writer. And working through that self-doubt is hard, but I know I have to because I can’t go into the querying process with any mental blocks. I need to ooze confidence in myself and my project to agents, or else they won’t even give my book a second glance. They’ll say, “Well, if she doesn’t believe in her own project, then why should I?”
I assume that this is sort of what stage fright feels like. It’s funny, I’ve never actually had stage fright. Sure, I’ve been nervous to step in front of an audience, but it’s never petrified me. And the fear always melted away the second I said my first line or began my speech. But here, it’s different. My hands tremble, my anxiety is off the roof… I’m a mess. But maybe that just means this–getting my book published–means more to me than a play or a speech. I’m more nervous because it feels like there’s more on the line, you know?
Anyway, nervous or not, I’m going to be querying agents, and I pray that it goes well. I have a really strong feeling in my gut that a great agency is going to offer me representation, and I’ve never wanted a gut feeling to be right more in my life. And there’s so many great agencies out there, more than I even knew about! There’s some that represent a boatload of really well-known YA novels, and every time I find a new one I squeal. So, yeah. I really hope one of those agencies want to represent me, because that would be a dream come true.
So here’s to a successful 2018, not only for me, but for you as well! Pick out that one thing you really want to accomplish this year, and then go for it full-force. You never know what’ll happen until you try!