I finally sent out the first 5 query letters, and when it was done, I heaved a huge sigh of relief.
The process took me more time than expected. The actual act of researching agents, writing individual queries, and editing the first 5-50 pages took forever. It deceived me by making me think I was close to finishing. It took me an entire day to write a summary for my book and I thought it was good. But as I looked at other query letters, I decided my summary needed a stronger hook, so I spent another two days re-writing it. Then I wrote unique paragraphs for each agent. Then I re-wrote my summary again. Then I redid the introduction.
This Thursday I decided my letters were fine, and I was all set to submit. But as I looked at my sample pages, I realized that the conversion from the Pages App on my iPad to Microsoft Word inexplicably screwed up the formatting. The line spacing went crazy and random indentations disappeared. Correcting all these minor errors ate up another hour and a half.
All the while an anxious cry in the center of my chest urged me to watch T.V., write my story, do dishes--anything but send the letters in. I had--and still have--this sense that my life will change, whether I'm ultimately accepted or rejected. The weak part of me cries that I'm not ready. That it's easier to sit and do nothing. I know I can't just stay static, but I'm terrified of moving into the unknown.
Today I had everything ready. In the most bored, cut-and-dry way possible, I cut and pasted my query letter and sample pages onto emails, checking nothing beyond the spelling of the name. I pressed send and that was that. Am I ready for rejection or even (hope beyond hope) acceptance? Not really. But now I have no choice but to face my fears and move forward.