As I send out my next batch of queries, I am reminded of how trying to get published is like running a marathon. It takes perseverance, grit, and determination.
Although I have never run a full marathon, I have run several half-ones. At my first one, as my feet pounded the pavement, stride by stride, I remember the thoughts churning through my brain as each mile passed. Thoughts, at mile one like, “This is so easy.” At mile three, “I’ve already run a 5k. Piece of cake.” At mile five, “Almost half way there. When I finish this, I’m signing up for a full!” But then, around mile seven, I thought, “A little over half way there? That’s it? Are you friggin’ kidding me?” The next mile? “Hell no. I’m not doing a full. No way. Not ever. This sucks!”
And then as I passed mile ten along with the cheering bystanders, my thoughts switched back to, “Mile ten already? Wow! That went fast. Only another 5k. I’ve got this.” Still, as I ran the last mile, approaching the finish line, “Ten more minutes. I can do anything for ten more minutes.” Finally, once I crossed the finish line, I looked behind me and said, “That wasn’t so bad. I did it! I actually did it!” followed by signing up for my next half marathon. Querying is a lot like this.
As I sent out my very first batch, I thought, “This is easy. Why do people say this is hard?” After my third batch, I thought, “I can do this all day long. Nothing to it.” Around batch five, and after the “no thank you’s” starting rolling in, I thought, “Oh. This isn’t so great. I spent all that time researching agents/agencies, composing my letter, and for what? A rejection? To get ghosted? Yuck.”
But like with running a half-marathon, I didn’t stop. I didn’t rest. I kept going. However, by the seventh batch, my thoughts continued to spiral downward, “I can’t see the finish line. It’s too far away. I’m never going to make it.” All the while with my supporters cheering me on from the sidelines, encouraging me to keep going. Not to give up. To continue hammering away at the submissions.
And one by one, that’s what I’ve continued to do. Almost eight months later, I’m still at it, pounding the keyboard, researching, composing, and submitting. Some days, positivity reigns. Other days, negativity does. But no matter which one is speaking to me, I must remember the grit, determination, and perseverance will get me to the finish line, no matter how far ahead it might be. It’s there. Approaching in the distance. DNF (Did not finish…a term used in running) is not an option.
I want that shiny metal at the finish line. And the only way to get it? Keep putting one foot in front of the other or, as in this case, keep submitting one query at a time. I have to go the distance. So that’s exactly what I’ll do: push through until I reach the end.