Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Dancing Alone at the Debutante Ball (IWSG)

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 (My IWSG post is late in the day--I blame kids and blogger (which is still fighting me on the format)--but it's here!)
One of the great things about being in a long-term partnership is not having to date.
Sure, you miss out on the sizzling excitement of new possibilities (nothing quite like the prospect of  first kiss), but I'll trade the uncertainty and constant weighing of expectations for stability any day.
I was never much good at dating anyway. I'm not conventionally pretty, I'm introverted, I analyze too much, and the consciousness that I was being evaluated made me more than usually awkward.
I thought when I got married I'd left those sensations behind.
Last Friday, I sent out a new batch of queries (it's been over  year since I queried--and shelved--a middle grade novel). And suddenly, I'm awash with all those feelings.
This stage of querying--where I haven't heard anything yet (well, one request, but no rejections)--is kind of awesome. Anything is possible. Of course, reality will set in soon enough.
Since I'm querying a historical fantasy novel, my mind is bit fixed on historical comparisons. In nineteenth-century England, a young woman of a certain class was prepped for marriage her entire life. A debutante ball held in her honor announced her entrance to society--and her marital eligibility. (I don't think it's an accident that one's first novel is similarly called a debut).

This is currently me: wearing my prettiest dress (a nice shiny query letter), standing on the fringes of a society I hope to join, waiting for interested partners to ask me to dance (see the manuscript), in the hopes of a long-term partnership.
But the waiting is hard. The sense of powerlessness is hard (one does as much as one can to dress to flatter one's strengths, to reevaluate what isn't working), but there is only so much I can do if I want to traditionally publish--which I do.
It's good thing I love dancing (and writing). I may be waiting for a response, but I don't have to wait for a partner to dance my own waltz.
Anyone else in the query trenches feel like they're dancing alone at a debutante ball?


  1. I'll admit that I skipped the whole query process. But I'm also that kid who attended the after-school dances and flung herself onto the dance floor without even considering taking a partner. I've also only been on dates with three different people in my life...

    I suppose it's a good thing I like being a programmer, sitting in my cube, organizing objects and compiling code. I don't think I'll ever make it as a writer.

    I hope your querying goes well, and a handsome prospect asks for your hand.


    1. Loni, I love the idea of just putting yourself out there! I'm still working on that . . . and thanks for the good wishes. :)

  2. I love your analogy! I'm joining you at the dance. Maybe we can hold up the wall together while we wait for someone to ask us to dance.

  3. Great analogy. It's not easy puttin yourself out there and then waiting to see if you find any admirers who want to take a turn around the floor with you. Keep busy, then you'll forget you're waiting for someone to notice your work and ask for more.

    1. Good advice. Thank you! Luckily, fall semester starts soon (I teach during my day job) so I'll be too busy to worry (much).

  4. Wonderful post! I understand what your going through. Unfortunately the sense of feeling powerless doesn't end. We always feel that way in the traditional publishing world. That's why so many authors are going the indie route. I pray you get good news soon!

  5. That's an excellent metaphor! It IS like getting all dressed up in your finery with the exciting possibility of a new relationship on the horizon -- and the nagging worry that no one will ask you to dance.

    Good luck with your queries!

    1. Thank you! I admire your books--I especially loved the caged graves, so I am thrilled you stopped by!