• V.Castro

Querying- aka I'm a stupid piece of shit that knows nothing and this book is shit.

Updated: Sep 5, 2018

All that #querying advice you read about is real. Ignore at your peril.

My husband being the business minded person he is thought #selfpublishing was the way forward from the outset, but I guess I needed validation. Everything I do as a #mom isn't deemed amazing or welcomed with gratitude. It's expected by my children. I am everything my family needs me to be the second they need it. I also wanted to know if there was any merit in this project. I needed assurance, but could only bear showing it to complete strangers. My husband HATES anything that resembles horror. No wares, #vampires, #shifters, zombies, #demons or monsters. So that wasn't going to work, but he was supportive nonetheless with business advice or taking care of the children so I could write.

Thus began the process of sending and #editing. Of, course it was #rejection after rejection. Looking back I sent it out way too early. Don't ever underestimate the power that is editing. You would not believe how many times ones eyes cannot see that missing period ten times in a row. When you think you've edited enough...... Nope. Do like Britney. Hit me baby one more time!

At first I didn't mind the rejection. It was exhilarating to have something of my own. I was rediscovering who I was before children. But slowly, the worse I felt in my #pregnancy the worse the climate of my mind became. Depression cut through me like a recently sharpened samurai sword. This didn't happen my previous pregnancies nor did I experience post-natal depression either. I can be a salty stubborn bitch, but not this down. What was happening to me.

I'd cry after the school run and when my husband left for work. I had such high hopes. I felt so good about this tale I was weaving. Let me tell you, sending #queries from a different time zone is not so fun. I ate rejection for breakfast. It wasn't the form rejections that got me, it was the personal ones. The ones that said "so close, but just not right for my list". "Great concept, but not for me at the moment", or the worst, "I know an agent will represent you soon".

Would that be the story of my life? I already felt completely inadequate in my home life and now this. Was I worthy of anything except being a glorified housekeeper. During bath time or watching my child play I'd think it could be anyone here. Anyone can cook, clean, wait for the dry cleaning to be picked up. I'm a sorry excuse for a piece of flesh. One day the children would no longer be under my care. Where would that leave me. Who would I be if anything was left. Every time someone said "Mommy" or "No" followed by a demand was like a layer of my flesh being pulled away. There is nothing worse than a deep sadness invading the tiny crevices of your cells and refusing to budge no matter how hard you will it to go.

My husband was still supportive reminding me I'm a great mother and all of this will pass soon. Until he reads this I don't think he ever knew how many whirlpools swirled inside, causing me to feel in a state of being drowned most of the time. Eventually I paid to have my query and first pages looked over. Money well spent too. More responses, more glimmers of hope, but that was all. Tiny specks of hope that shined at the moment, but were just a mirage of what I wanted so desperately. After my baby was born there would be another 12 years of school run, school fetes, lunches to make. Couldn't I have something just for me on the side. Why did I make the choices I did at 18, 21, 24, 27, 30? All my mistakes ticked loudly in my mind like a Geiger Counter.

At this point, my back was killing me with every step and the English weather permanently in Groundhog Day like dreariness. I was sick every week ( a three year old's gift that keeps on giving). And if you've ever had the flu while heavily pregnant, honey you haven't lived. I'd look on with envy as my husband and children gulped down medicine as I settled for hot tea.

I hated my body, my unhappiness, my stupidity for thinking I could write. God, I was such an ungrateful bitch. I was healthy, my baby and children healthy, I wanted for nothing. The inner voice screaming, "Cry me a damn river in your big house with all your nice things." More sobbing with headphones as I watched it rain day after day. Self flagellation is worse than rejection.

But I had to write. It was my only escape from who I was and what I was feeling. I stopped queries to begin short stories. I also could not give up on my series. More ideas kept popping up like a game of whack a mole. I told myself to shut-fuck-up and get on with it. Smile dammit. You'll have a daughter soon and you owe it to her to be a good example. I didn't feel like a good example for a #daughter that would have to work harder than her brothers. Once, again not good enough.

This was my dress and now I could pass it on. Would my legacy just be a saved dress?

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