So why is this so heavy?
Weeks passed. I'm aware that I should have focused on other things, continued to write, sent in packets to other publishers or agents. I didn't. In truth, I only half-lived, always some part of me focused on where The Query Packet of Awesomeness was at that moment. I even prayed, every night, that the slush reader would come upon The Query Packet, would be well fed, and focused. I prayed that it would get the shot that it deserved.
The weeks passed, and every day I went out to my mailbox, wondering if the envelope had come. I started to get excited. This was taking a long time. A lot longer than their website had indicated. Working as a slush editor made me think that extra time before the rejection, meant that it had survived one round, and The Query Packet had made it's way up the channels. I answered ever unknown caller with a nervous and professional excitement.
"Hello, this is Sheena Boekweg." (sigh) "No I am not interested in a newspaper subscription."
On their website, they said it would take an average of eight weeks to respond. So, after eight weeks, and until twelve weeks I lived in a state of nervous energy, and self doubt, which was quickly silenced by my inner cheerleader telling me (perkily) that The Query Packet was brilliant.
See, most writers have an inner editor, and I have one too. The real damaging voice in my head though, is the inner cheerleader who dresses like a New York Professional, and sounds like my mom. She's the one that gets me in trouble. The one who says "this is brilliant," and then after someone reads it I realize how embarrassed I actually should have been to send it out.
Basically, for twelve weeks, I was waiting for the shoe to drop, and then..oh look.. a falling shoe.
I don't have to tell you the kind and respectful words they used to tell me my baby was ugly, do I?
That inner cheerleader of mine, read those happy positive words in the form letter, and saw the silver lining. They must have liked it, quite a lot, to say something so positive, right?
People say you have to silence your inner editor to get the story out, but the inner cheerleader is worse.
For these reasons:
The inner cheerleader hasn't passed an English test. Never trust the grammar check made by your inner cheerleader. She's no good at grammar, or spelling. Perhaps she can't even read. In fact, she may be blind
The inner cheerleader is sadistic. The more you believe her, the more you need her when reality comes to bite your hiney. Which is good job security when you think about it.
I want to believe her, especially when kind friends or family, echo the words she whispers in my ear.
In fact, one day, that beautiful day when my inner cheerleader will be proven right, she will be my best friend. She will say, "See, I always knew you could do it." and I'll be glad I didn't silence her completely.
Okay...fine...you can stay.
But from here on out, you will have no hand in the editing process. That's the inner editors turn to whisper in my ear.