Anyone who has been querying or on submission knows it's not an easy process. While lamenting how I was firmly set in the 7th Ring of Hell the other night, I got to thinking about how we have playlists for our books. We sometimes even have the playlists of our lives--you know those songs that meant something to us during special times and places. Well, that got me thinking of if someone were to put together a compilation cd of all the songs that relate to the agonizing process. Here's Part One of the Cd!
(1). Highway to Hell: Yeah, this might seem excessive, but seriously, it would be numero uno on my list of the Soundtrack to Submission. I spent nine months on the query train a chug, chug, chuggin’ along. I seriously couldn’t imagine anything could possibly be worse, but alas, it is. Maybe it’s what querying nine months did to me in the fact that submission feels like one more hellish crusade.
(2). Under Pressure: There’s a lot of pressure in the submission process. First, there’s a race to prove yourself. Gotta sell, gotta sell, gotta sell! The sooner the better---you wanna be that person on submission a week or less before having a preempt deal or going to auction. There’s also the pressure to prove yourself to your agent. They chose you out of hundreds—maybe even thousands—of eager beaver applicants. You wanna make them proud and make them realize they were visionaries when choosing you. So besides proving it to yourself and to your agent, you also want to prove yourself to all your family, friends, critique partners etc—all those people who have supported you, loved you, allowed you to go on acidic, demon possessed rants and still talked to you, etc. It’s a heck of a lot of pressure pressing down on you!
(3). Survivor & (4). I Will Survive: You need some songs to remind you that no matter how hard and how emotionally and physically crippling the submission process might be YOU WILL SURVIVE. Sometimes I just have to put on the headphones and let Beyonce remind me that I’m not going to give up because I’m a survivor!
(5). Eye of the Tiger & (6). Gonna Fly Now: It’s hard not to feel like a pumped up conquerer when you hear these two songs from the Rocky movies. Just hearing those trumpets in Gonna Fly Now gives you the image of Rocky Balboa working his ass off to get in shape for the big fight. I totally feel revived when I hear it, and somehow I do my own mental run up those stairs and end in a fist pump…well, not a Jersey Shore fist pump or anything like that, lol.
(7). Don’t Give Up, Never Give Up: I really love this Eagle Eye Cherry song. I first heard it in the Holes movie. It’s not just the jazzy beat of the song that I love; it’s also the lyrics. “All our dreams are gone with a loss of faith. We're still hanging on for another day. It's so hard to see that it's going to get better, and when will that be it's hard to say…..Don’t give up, never give up. We won’t stop giving all we’ve got.”
(8). Sitting in Limbo: I think this song just about sums up the most agonizing part of the submission process….the wait. When you’re querying, it’s like you hold the cards. You research the agents, you query them, and then you wait for their response. When going on submission, it’s completely taken out of your hands. Not only do you have to wait, but you have to wait on many other people to let you know what’s going on with your book. The whole song is great, but I especially love these lines:“Sitting here in Limbo waiting for the dice to roll. Yeah, now, sitting here in Limbo. Still got some time to search my soul. Meanwhile, they're putting up a resistance, but I know that my faith will lead me on."
(9). When the Going Gets Tough….the Tough Gets Going: Yes, the awesome 80’s beat from Billy Ocean. And it’s such a true one. To survive the submission process, you gotta be tough, and when things get really hard and you don’t think you can go on, you gotta just keep persevering.
(10). The Climb: I actually blogged about this song when I was querying. It meant a lot to me then, and it still does now. I like the idea that all the hardship of the querying and submission process will mean something in the long run. It's about keeping a dream alive even when you think it's impossible. As long as there's that little flame flickering within you, the dream can stay alive until it comes to fruition.