I was talking with a good writer friend of mine last evening, and we discussed my current novel that I'm getting ready to query soon. In all honesty, I've been delaying the whole "query trenches" thing as long as possible. I don't want to go there, I really don't. All that rejection piling up, vague feedback, maybe some detailed feedback, more incentive to do more revisions.
Okay, so I'm just scared. I've never queried before. My friend barely went on submission for her novel yesterday, and she's not exactly in the best of spirits, either. More anxiety than anything, I think. Funny how I've watched some of my friends get agents and go on submission and sell books and their stress level hits the roof - to the point that it seems to overshadow most of the joy altogether. It all evens out in the end. Maybe?
So I told my friend, "You know, I'm not sure I want to do this, anyway. Maybe I'll shelve the book and work on two more projects for the next four years. Maybe I'll query then."
She laughed and said that wouldn't change anything. Publishing is slow. Might as well get the ball rolling now. Make connections, network, get agent interest, get my work out there, all that jazz. Besides, if I really do want to publish traditionally, I need to see if my work is good enough for that, and the only way to know that is to send it out there to the professionals in the field.
There is another way, though. Last week I blogged about hiring a professional editor for your work. That, of course, costs money. So what would be better? My stress or my money? I'd stress sending my work to an editor, too. I guess I've reached the point where I need to choose. Shelve it, edit it professionally, query it, or self-publish it. The only way to know the answer?
There is no right answer.
And as the brilliant Mr. Bailey has said here before, no novel is ever perfect. Messy things, those.
If you were in my position, what would the answer be for you?