Doing Business The Old-Fashioned Way

I just submitted a query for “Finding Kate” by mail.

I’m not going to tell you who it was.  And, believe it or not, I am not going to rail against their outdated, costly and burdensome requirements.

Because, walking out of the post office, I got it.

I stressed out over this submission, more than I normally do.  In great measure, that was because this is one of those “dream” places, a place where if they ever gave me that acceptance call, I wouldn’t just be happy, I would be thrilled, certain that my career was in good hands.  They are THAT right for me.  But it was also because this wasn’t just an email to be copied and pasted (which, if you haven’t done an email query, takes a good hour, and should not be minimized in any way).  It was a package to be printed and stapled and binder clipped and SASEd and sealed in an envelope.  It was work.  

In the printing process, I found tiny typos — a font mistake here, an italic missing there — that I never would have seen on the screen.  I printed, I checked, I confirmed.  I tapped the pages against the table to line them up perfectly.  In handling my documents, I was reminded of the seriousness of what I was undertaking, and of what I was asking them to do.

Next, I had to walk out the door and drive to the post office and face yet another decision:  what method would be best?  First class?  Priority?  Priority Flat Rate?  Express would be too needy, too self-important, and — let’s be honest — way too expensive.  I went with a five dollar flat rate priority envelope.  It will be there in a couple of days, right before the long holiday weekend.  September.  A good time for beginnings.   

My hands shook a little as I sealed up that envelope.  I admit it.  It felt huge.  It felt monumental.  A little piece of me in there.

I get it.  I shouldn’t do all that for just anyone.  Thanks for reminding me.

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8 Responses to Doing Business The Old-Fashioned Way

  1. Oooh great post. You are so right. I imagine the digital era is just a part of what is overwhelming agents’ inboxes. If it weren’t so easy to hit ‘send’ I doubt many writers would be taking on the effort, time, and expense to mail queries.

  2. Or at least would wait until it (and they) were really ready.

  3. Neeks says:

    You have brought up an excellent point, see your work in writing. I am constantly amazed at what I find after I print up a story after I *thought* I had edited and finished.
    I can also feel that little heart fluttery thing when you are ready, finally, to send it off. Great post.

  4. mabelgygi says:

    Well done, Maryanne! I am glad that you took the time to get one step closer to your dream. Your post could not have been more perfectly timed. At a meeting today, I was reminded that by slowing down and taking my time, I can be healthier and see the world from a better point of view.

  5. Nancy Sima says:

    Good for you Maryanne! With summer I’ve been off my writing game but have been inspired with the turn of September (and your post). Thanks for the nudge 🙂

  6. That’s good news! I’m glad to be part of what has helped get you back on track! I look forward to hearing from you as you keep working at your craft.

  7. Julie Musil says:

    Oh, fingers super duper crossed for you on your submission! And you make such a great point about the time and effort and expense, and who knows, maybe that’s why this particular house does it this way!

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