Definitely, unquestionably, without a doubt, there is one part of sending e-queries that makes me shudder in horror.
It's not the speed with which I amass rejections--no, no, I actually don't mind that so much. The sooner I can mark an agent off my list, the less soul-crushing hope I have building up inside me.
It's not the ease with which those rejections can be sent, either. Sure, it's probably easier to reject an e-query than one sent via snail mail, but the benefits far outweigh that potential disadvantage. Cheaper! Easier! Less waste!
And it's not the fear that my email will reach their inbox garbled and screwy, maintaining very little of the careful formatting I slaved over. So what, I say. Can't control everything.
No, it's not any of those things. It's...dun dun dun DUN...checking my spam folder for misplaced replies. Eesh, the very thought leaves me squirming, dreading the next time I see fit to perform this little chore.
Yes, I do this several times a week. I root through the emails offering various pharmaceutical products (usually misspelled), places at which to find "horny girls" (usually misspelled), and, oddly enough, software CHEEP AND E-Z (say it with me...misspelled) . What's with that last bit, I have to ask? How has software suddenly shot to the top of the "Things We Want To Market To You Without Your Permission" list, right up there with sex and drugs?
Is this really necessary, you ask? I mean, what are the odds that something important will actually slip past my Gmail inbox, incorrectly labeled under that worst of email labels, SPAM?
Well, yeah. It's happened once before, and I was lucky to catch it. Ever since then, I remain vigilant...just...in...case. Will it happen again?
I have no idea. But I know that, day after day after day (tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow...yes, the English major in me is popping up to say hi), I will realize that it's that time of day again. And with a forlorn sigh, I will make the e-trek to my inbox, where various skeevy people try to sell me various skeevy things, and where I must examine each email subject carefully before I mark it for deletion, lest I send into the Internet ether some actual, important correspondence.
And my soul will feel a little dirtier with each one.
If you don't feel that you are possibly on the edge of humiliating yourself, of losing control of the whole thing, then possibly what you are doing isn't very vital. If you don't feel like you are writing somewhat over your head, why do it? If you don't have some doubt of your authority to tell this story, then you are not trying to tell enough. --John Irving