Finished the draft? Now procrastinate the query letter!

Why only procrastinate writing your novel, when you can also procrastinate writing those dreaded query letters to agents? In my Procrastinator’s Guide to Writing, I focused on procrastinating finishing the latest complete draft of my as-yet-unpublished novel, A Certain Shade of Light. Nine years from conception to completion (until the next draft). Well, I finished the draft over Labor Day Weekend (that’s September), and now it’s well into November, so that’s not bad, right?

I sent two queries tonight — after getting every literate female to choose from five potential first paragraphs — hooks, in publishing terminology. Can I go on a tangent here? Every time I read that a query letter needs a “hook” to suck a potential agent in a nano-second, I hear the radio consultant I worked with in the 80’s shouting from his office, “Where’s the hook, Emily? Get the hook!” when I’d record song hooks from LPs to cassette tapes for the radio stations we worked with.

Back to agent query letters. I sent two, while suppressing anxiety-induced hyperventilation. The snag — this next one wants a synopsis. I’m getting hives again just thinking about how to condense a very long Biblical fiction/family saga into a coherent synopsis. I found this agent’s name in July 2017. November 2018, and I’m still stuck. And now my husband wants me to watch his latest favorite show with him, “God Friended Me”. Toil over a synopsis or watch TV with my LOML (love of my life) and sweetheart? And now it’s over. I need another excuse!

Fear motivates much of my procrastination. I’ve read too many websites and how-to books that remind me how low my chances are of success — unless I fork out a significant chunk of change for a career-changing consultant. And, let’s face it. Query letters are hard. I’ve written hundreds of professional letters in my time, and none of them have me trembling under my desk, clenching my wobbly knees, like this one.

At least, I’m building my platform…

What ways are you procrastinating the next steps in your publishing career? Feel free to share them here or in the Procrastinator’s Guide to Writing comments.

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