Playing with Lucy

by Joni Abilene

One thing about querying is the loss of power a person feels. I never play the lottery because the odds are against me winning anything other than the dollar I just spent. Querying feels the same way. Occasionally I’ll muster up enough confidence to submit with a positive outcome in mind, but all that confidence is destroyed the second another rejection rolls in. I turn into Charlie Brown, always running after that football.

I’m teaching myself the ins and outs of self-publishing so I can reclaim a little bit of that lost power. There’s nothing worse than forever holding onto a book when you know it has a place in the world, but the gatekeepers won’t give you a break. One of my favorite authors self-publishes, and while I don’t know the monetary gain, if any, of her endeavors, I do know she’s damn good and I am extremely glad she had the nerve to go forward regardless of an agent’s approval. I’m using her as an example of someone who puts it out there and lets it go.

So, I’m learning to format and edit down to the bone. I’m also designing a cover. If a lucky break comes in and I get the chance to be published, of course my answer will be yes. But for now it feels good to step forward, instead of back.

The real lessen here is: never say never. It’s cliche, but true. Never say never. I guess in a way, Charlie Brown is the eternal optimist, always racing after that ball when he knows damn well he’ll never hit it. I kind of love him for that. We should all be like Charlie. We should all hope for the best.