I finish January with a little spark of life. In October last year, I completed a mass of submissions; a volume of work so large, I recently took time out to count how many agents had received my work. My cup of tea had barely stopped swirling. In the bin, the teabag still perspired with Earl Grey’s sweat. Before me, I had the number: eight.
Eight was not as vast as the number of submissions I had envisaged. I honestly think, following my manuscript assessment, that I’d acquired a little…er…confidence. The cold wind howls and a tumbleweed tumbles across an icy tundra…it had rolled a long way. As I wrote last month, my rejections were very supportive. Since then, I’ve had a conversation with a lovely publisher (who rejected my manuscript) who also offered praise for the book.
The spark? Well after looking at the number EIGHT, I realised that it needed to be much larger. Didn’t J.K have fifty or sixty rejections? I employed assistance, my wife lay on the bed with ‘The Writer’s and Artist’s Yearbook’, whilst I scoured the internet. She called out UK agent names and I read their websites – I hope they appreciate that some of us do try to find an engaging match with both company and agent.
On one agent’s page, they recommend that a writer’s submission will be immediately thrown out if emoticons are used. This kind of information fills me with the confidence that tells me, ‘You’re already beating someone.’ The race however, is to be the first out of thousands. Another site recommends, ‘Don’t address us by another agent’s name.’…brilliant, that’s two people I can do better than.
Today, the submission count is at seventeen. I think I’ve fallen in love with the idea of working with all nine of the new contacts. As the submissions pile up, it becomes more apparent that I need:
The right agent, on the right day, with the right needs and the right publishing contact in mind.
Next weekend: I’M HOME ALONE! Debauchery – excesses – wild abandon…
…are all things that won’t happen. Instead, I think The Hollow needs a kick in the backside. I’ve never written a short story over such a long period of time. I usually tear through the first draft and then edit it for the rest of eternity. Writing the first draft for, The Hollow has been like building a Lego car, except the bricks are arriving one at a time via sea mail. Well, let’s see what happens next weekend, maybe a bulk order will arrive.