Why Honesty and Self-kindness Belongs in your Writer’s Tool Kit | Query Quest Week One


Steadfast on finding an agent in 2019, I have done all I can do to start preparing for the query trenches. Since then, I’ve jumped with joy, pleased the Type A personality in me with an organized tracker, cried at the idea that I’ll never be published, and convinced myself that no one will ever read my books.

It’s been fun.

I’ve been doing a 30-day yoga journey called “Dedicate” with Adriene. I used to do yoga fairly consistently years ago, but since college has gotten tougher and tougher each semester, I haven’t had as much time to dedicate to the mat.

This year, though, I hope to get back into my yoga routine. I very quickly realized, however, that I am practically a newbie again.

My legs shake, my knees beg for a break from table-top position, and my flexibility has gone south for the winter.

At first, I got very frustrated. I could do so many positions so effortlessly before, and now, I have to train my body all over again. I was so annoyed at myself for getting to that point.

Then, while in downward dog, cursing myself for not having a solid foundation, Adriene’s sweet voice reminds me that it’s ok. It’s ok if my limbs feel a bit wobbly. It’s ok if I need to lower my knees for a bit. It’s ok if I can’t stretch as far as she can.

It’s ok if I can’t do it right now. I’ll get there.

Now when I get ready for my yoga session, I’m very kind to myself. I constantly remind myself to be patient, and every once in a while, I laugh, because I’m a noodle while in tree pose.

So, if I can be kind to myself while on the yoga mat, why can’t I be kind to myself while I’m starting the query process?

I think it’s because yoga is something I started in high school. An exercise I am fond of.

Writing and books have been a passion of mine since elementary school. A lifestyle engrained in my day-to-day routine.

The time I spend writing has always been a gift to myself.

Actually looking for an agent and beginning the process to see my writing come to life as a physical book is so exciting and yet terrifying all at the same time.

I started off trying to be as organized as possible. I created a query tracker that helps me keep track of the agents I’ve looked into, their requirements, their information, etc.

I’ve also created a tool kit of what I need before I start sending letters out as well as a list of questions if I ever do end up getting an offer.

Then, it came to the point where I had to start filling this tracker out… and I got overwhelmed.

Imposter syndrome grabbed me by the neck and shook me like a rag doll.

“You could never be a published author. Sage? What kind of pen name is that?”
“Your instagram is sad. Have you seen those bookstagram accounts?”
“People get a thousand followers a day on twitter, and you’re still only at 300-something.”
“Book signings? Forget about it.”

Then, during yoga, I had an epiphany.

My mantra that morning was, funny enough, “My knees hurt.” I wanted to be honest with myself when writing in my journal. I wish I could say I was thinking a great positive affirmation, but in reality, all I could think about was my knees.

I think I need to be honest and kind to myself with this query process as well.

Yes, I am nervous and scared. I still don’t think I could ever do this, but I’m still going to damn well try.

It’s ok if my tweets aren’t the most engaging, or if my instagram isn’t as aesthetically pleasing as some others, or if my blog isn’t updated exactly on a schedule.

I’ll get there.

I know the writing community loves to call it the “query trenches”, but I think I’ll be calling my journey my “Query Quest”. It just appeals to my fantasy-loving heart more, and it makes the whole process a bit more fun.

Fairfarren, friends.

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