Hello again, Internet. Where have I been? Well, that's easy to answer: my apartment.
But seriously folks, what have I by been up to? Paradoxically, both not much at all, and a whole hell of a lot.
After much work, sweating, and straining I finally completed my first query letter. For those not in the Cool Kids Writer's Club, a query letter is a fancy term for pleading with a literary agent to represent you. It was awful. As I stated previously, I'm really not into the whole self marketing thing, and attempting to write a query letter is the pure distillation of selling yourself. Every word I wrote for the letters seemed false; like I was selling someone a used car that I knew would fall apart the second it made it onto the street and out of the parking lot. A lot of that is just doubt, though. The feeling that I couldn't possibly be good at anything, much less something I actually enjoy and is important to me. That's something I'm going to have to get over, and sooner than later.
Despite all of that, I finally completed the letter and sent it off to my agency of choice. Now, from what I hear… It's time to wait. When I'm done with that, I will then proceed to wait some more.
So as far as being proactive, that's where I'm at. That's also on the "not much at all" front. As far as the "whole hell of a lot" thing goes, it was a passive discovery. Or at least, it was passive for me.
The cool cat I discussed previously, Agnes, did some work after hearing my word count on my unfinished manuscript of the novel. Apparently, 60,000 words is the average for a memoir.
At last count, I have more than double that, and I have no idea how that happened. As I pondered what to do about this good problem, I realized that other than writing a few chapters about Ali's childhood and adolescence, I really didn't have that much to do by way of content creation. So quietly, softly, and without fanfare I realized that I think I'm done writing the book. Well, not really. Next comes months of proofreading, editing, and revising what I've already written.
That said, it's still a massive milestone and one that I've thought about constantly. In my mind I pictured throwing a "BOOYA, I'M DONE!" Party, but now that the moment has arrived it just seems silly and hugely self congratulatory.
So that's where I am, and what I've been up to. This week or next week I hope to get some editing done, and maybe just help with some of the writing submitted to my three-person writing group. I've been a bit of a deadbeat, but hopefully that will change. Then at some point comes the incalculable undertaking of editing everything I've written so far, and even more terrifying… getting rid of chapters to fit some semblance of what's expected from a memoir.
Next time on Nathan Writes Things: how do you delete pieces of your life?