You still hope they don't catch the blood, sweat, and tears poured in between the lines of that letter.
You hope that someone, anyone with the right credentials asks to see more from you whether that be a proposal, or for fiction, sample chapters. Your heart stops beating for a millisecond when you get that rare shooting star of a manuscript request.
Yet, you feel like someone is preparing to bury you alive when you get a response to that manuscript that says, "Sorry, not what I am looking for. Best of luck elsewhere!"
I wish I could say that this hasn't happened to me but it has. My memoir is one of the most heartfelt books I've ever written. I was open and honest. And I poured everything I had into it for three and half years during the writing process.
Recently, I finally got the chance to send an agent from a rather high-end agency and I was totally thrilled.
I actually started imagining the way my coworkers would treat me when they found out I was going on an international book tour.
Some of them would rush up and ask for an autograph.
Others would still wear the same friendly face.
Then, I got rejected on a Thursday night when I was already having a terrible shift.
I was on break when I opened the email inside the Wal-mart bathroom stall and I just burst out crying.
Then, I realized I had to go back out there and still ring up customers and so I put on my best customer service face after sharing my heart on Facebook, and got through my shift.
Then, I went to Applebee's with my mom for half-price apps and drinks.
That night, I pretended I was fine but the following days, inwardly I felt like I wanted to just sit in a corner rocking and crying, and sucking my thumb.
Until I remembered WHOSE I AM.
It seems to me like there is nothing wrong with my memoir or my query letter (even though I'm now sending out a letter that reads less like microwave cooking instructions and has more of my voice throughout).
After the three and half years of writing it, I had a writer friend (#BetaReaderLove) edit it chapter by chapter for context. Anything that read like a bottle of seltzer gone flat was taken apart or discarded.
Following this, I had a highly linguistic genius/wordsmith beta read it and she raved over it despite the fact that her expertise is in fiction.
Plus, I feel that besides my mom, she also got the power hidden throughout it. Which means that I can't give up on it's journey toward full and complete manifestation and successful destination.
I believe my memoir may not be getting representation for the following reasons:
- The memoir talks about JESUS a lot because he is my SAVIOR and not just a religious relic to me. He saved my life twice (literally) and without him, I wouldn't be able to breathe like a normal person so excuse me for being OUTSPOKEN about how much I love and owe to JESUS but I think I will not be removing him from my memoir anytime soon. Matter of fact, I wholeheartedly believe the memoir will end up being published by a big-time Christian publishing house like Revell or Thomas Nelson.
- The memoir documents my life story from birth to current day but contains three and a half years of research on medical jargon and all types of factual information about different illnesses I suffered from such as hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, depression.
- The memoir has a major theme of loving someone so much you are willing to die for them. This is why I settled on the title ONE LAST BREATH. It not only encapulates nearly dying but serves as a double metaphor for the love I had for someone who would rather watch me die than ever love me back, and a metaphor for my life of struggles and how I've always fought so hard for what I wanted in life even if it would cost me my last breath.
- The memoir contains song lyrics from songs I thought fit in certain chapters and because I was listening to those songs throughout the writing process. It also contains poetry I wrote during those exact moments discussed in the book and I already know that most publishers aren't looking to publish poetry. (I don't know why because poetry is seriously equally as therapeutic to write as it is to read).
Reasons I believe the memoir will be a strong piece of American literature
- It's unlike any other memoir out there. (Part of my research was that I started the preliminary stages by reading other great memoirs. Along the way, I realized how much I love the genre. Speaking of which, I am beyond stoked that someone allowed the avenue for Amy Schumer to publish a memoir because that woman is AMAZEBALLS and hella funny!)
- I have a degree in marketing so I think I have a solid plan for how to get it to sell once it is published. Publicist, nah I don't need one. I'm already trained in how to be my own.
- With the network I've developed from the Smart Cookie, I could totally find (real genuine) people who would be willing to say something nice to go in the front of the book. And also a few book blogs that could write a review and promote it to their network.
- It was written with the help and great and mighty hand of God. My story is only as bright as the person shining his everlasting light and great favor on my life. He gave me the words to minister to people. I am just the messenger. After all, with God all things are possible!
All in all, I'm still going to shop it around no matter how long it takes to get it representation because I believe that the right set of eyes and the right heart will see it's potential and just like fire, I will light up the world for more than just one day. After all, no one can be just like me anyway.
All I ask of all of you is that you pray daily for me and my memoir, and if anyone is interested in beta reading it, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Before I leave you with a final thought, don't forget to read the first five chapters of Kickflip My Heart in the upper right hand corner.
Until next time,
Love Times Infinity,
~Just Keep Swimming~