#amquerying Life in Flight

Both my kids are in school full-time this week, and I am finally able to devote some time to my writing. Today, I am working on two writing goals: 1) sending out my newly revamped query letter to agents, and 2) beginning a third draft of my manuscript. Diving into the manuscript will be hard, but once I am able to find a good headspace and flow, I think this will be an easier step of writing my book. I think the hardest part—creating a line of suspense for 250 pages— is done for now, unless I have to rewrite one more time.

I finished the first draft of my memoir Life in Flight during the summer of 2020. Throughout the 2020-2021 pandemic, I worked on a second revision. Now, I will work on a third draft of my book using feedback from my writing group to help me polish and clarify the book’s intent. I hope my third draft will be the final draft, but I might give it another go if I find I have trouble placing the book with a publisher.

I have no idea what I’m doing. I mean, I learned steps to publication by doing research, and I’m currently searching the Poets and Writer’s database for agents, so I’m moving in the right direction. But I’ve never done this before, so the territory is a little scary for me. I’m just going to do it. Do ya hear me internet? I’m gonna do it.

I usually jump into most of my goals headfirst and learn as I go—writing, publishing, marriage, having children, developing a career. But I always feel like I don’t know what I’m doing. I have pervasive novice syndrome, which is not a thing, but I’m going to make it a thing. I define it as a subset of impostor syndrome, where I feel like everything is new and I don’t know how to do anything.

Yes, I’m tailspinning a little bit, but I can recognize that. So I’m good. Don’t worry. I do wonder if announcing I am about to do something scary is the best idea. I guess I am about to find out!

I even asked #Twitter for advice:

We’ll see how that goes, too. Wish me luck, folx. I’m going to need it.

8 thoughts on “#amquerying Life in Flight

  1. “I have pervasive novice syndrome, which is not a thing, but I’m going to make it a thing.” Go ahead and make it a thing. It’s a syndrome I can embrace even at my long-in-the-tooth age of 64. And good luck with your querying and all that. Hopefully the fact you’ve been published in CNF etc. will move things along for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jennifer, your post inspires me to comment because it caught my attention that you’ll be querying agents at the same time as you’re working on your third draft. I’m on a similar path, working with my fifth(?) draft (finally paid for a professional developmental edit – thank you stimulus check) after an agent requested the full manuscript and then told me what i needed to revise before resubmitting. The point I have is this: If you think you still have a significant bit of (what sounds to be valuable) feedback you’d like to work with for your manuscript, from what i understand (i’m not an expert!) when an agent says to you, “This sounds amazing. Please forward your full manuscript,” you don’t want your response to be, “Great! Just give me a couple weeks.” You want to tell them it’s on its way. Also, I’m really enjoying tracking your journey!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sonya, you bring up a good point. I figured it would take me a year to receive a response from someone, so I was figuring I had more time. But you are right. Maybe I should wait until the third draft is done??? I don’t think the third draft will take too long, at least not compared with the time it’s taken to complete a second draft with a beginning, middle, and end. However, I might want to concentrate my efforts on revising before I send out another round of letters. You’re giving me a lot to think about! Thanks for the feedback. =0)


  3. Jennifer – I applaud your ability to jump right in to accomplishing your goals whether you know what you are doing or not! I have pervasive novice syndrome too, but mine causes paralysis until i know a lot about what i should be doing. So if i don’t do the research, i don’t start the goal. You are an inspiration to me! You go, girl!

    Liked by 1 person

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