I sent off a query letter and some sample pages on Wednesday, my first submission to a literary agent in over two years. As I stood at the post office counter and thumbed through my submission packet I smiled at how different I felt as compared to last time. Here's a quote from my journal two years ago:
"Today I finally got out to the post office. I had a stack of bills and another query to send off. As I drove down the road I had to fight a growing sense of foreboding. Why was I doing this? This was crazy! I am sending a letter, a synopsis, and the first three chapters of my book to a complete stranger! I thought, If I turn the car around and drive home right now, I could put the bills in the mail box and put my manuscript in the filing cabinet and just forget about the whole thing. No one would ever know the difference. I don't have to publish this novel. WHY AM I DOING THIS?"
This time there was no agonizing. It was almost a non-event. I made sure my SASE was in there, glanced over my letter one last time, sealed the envelope shut and dropped it in the slot.
Last time, I had only finished one manuscript. For that one manuscript to face rejection seemed like a matter of life or death for my writing career. This time, I've finished three full manuscripts. If no one takes number two, then I'll try again with number three. And then number four, and so on. I could keep at this forever. But I don't think I'll have to. Because with each book I learn and get better, and eventually I'm going to be good enough to find that agent.