Dear Sir or Madam


In the past two months, I have sent out over sixty query letters searching for agent representation for the book I have been working on during the long months of unemployment*.

*I use this word ‘unemployment’ like it has been a horrible, terrible, awful thing, but in reality, it has been a freeing, wonderful, fantastic thing, of which, despite how odd it sounds, I have been fortunate to have experienced.

The first couple of rejection letters always thrill me. Instead of being bummed about the rejection, I think, “Someone read my work! Someone saw my pages. They actually looked at them! Human eyes other than mine have read the words I have written.”

After about five rejections, the glitz and glamour of someone else being exposed to my writing wears off and I find myself somewhere between panic mode and the utter despair of self loathing.

I recently sent out a new batch of queries, one which had to be mailed internationally to London, causing both the part-time post office worker and me to become flustered.

Every time I remove the “Dear Sir or Madam” place holder greeting at the top of my query letter and replace it with the name of the agent I wish to contact, Paperback Writer by The Beatles begins to play in my head.

For the rest of the day, I am then haunted by the words:

“Dear Sir or Madam,

Will you read my book?

It took me years to write, so please take a look…”

The lyrics go on to tell bits and pieces of the queried story, and ends with the part with which I most relate:

“If you must return it, you can send it here

But I need a break and I want to be a Paperback Writer”

We’re all waiting for some kind of break in life, aren’t we?

With my fourth draft of my first completed work finished, I now leave it to the drawer as I continue my never-ending journey in the world of writing. Coincidentally, I have taken a part-time job for the next two months that will hopefully help to clear my mind while simultaneously sparking new creativity and drive in my writing. Just know, if you happen to pass my way and hear the humming of the first few lines of Paperback Writer, I may have recently sent off a fresh batch queries.*

*That, or I have been listening to the Hey Jude album.


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