Monday, December 28, 2009
What I've learned in 2009, Part 1
I've never made the mistake of wearing two different shoes, but I've made plenty of others. I'm posting a little late today because my internet has been down. Go figure. It's my first day back to blogging, and my internet doesn't work. Anyway, I'm glad to be back. I missed all my blog friends, and I look forward to catching up with you today. Before my break, I was posting about contradictions aspiring authors come across. I was going to pick up where I left off, but I've decided to spend this week recapping what I've learned in 2009 by re-posting some of my older material. The first lesson I learned this year was not to query too soon. Back in January, I sent out my first round of queries. Big mistake. I wasn't ready. My work wasn't ready. And, obviously, my query letter wasn't ready. Here's a post I did a while back about some of my query mistakes: I'm a night person and always have been. I hate mornings, and it usually takes at least three cups of coffee before I can function. My wake-up-at-the-crack-of-dawn husband just doesn't quite understand this, but we manage to get along anyway. At any rate, I often find myself querying after midnight. Apparently, my head isn't as clear as I think it is at night. Here are some of my late-night query mistakes: I sent three chapters in the body of an e-query to an agent whose guidelines specifically state: QUERY ONLY. I knew this, but I meant to send the query to a different agent. I indicated that I was enclosing a SASE for the agents response in an e-query. It's kind of hard to send an envelope with an email, wouldn't you say? In my defense, when I checked the agency guidelines, they specifically asked for snail mail queries, but upon further investigation, I learned that this particular agent preferred queries by email. So I copied and pasted my original letter from Word into an email. Unfortunately, I forgot to take the part about the SASE out. I sent five e-queries with the same typo. Keep in mind that I read, re-read, and re-read again without catching the mistake. That is, until I hit send on the last one. I addressed and e-query to someone named Mitchelle. Yeah, it was supposed to be "Michelle". Again, my midnight mind didn't catch it until the next morning. By the way, did I mention this query also contained the same typo discussed in the previous example? Now, here's one about a snail mail query. I enclosed an SASE or, actually, an SAE. Yes, I forgot to put a stamp on it. How do I know? Well, because I was out of stamps before I even wrote the query. Now, why I didn't realize it until after I went to the post office, bought stamps, put them on the query to mail, and stuck it in the drop box is anyone's guess. Apparently, my head isn't so clear in the morning either. So, what about you? Care to share any of your mistakes?