It all started after I wrote and revised and revised and revised, my very first manuscript. You see, I had this story that I poured my heart and soul into, and I was excited to share it with the world. I took a look at my options and decided that finding an agent and getting the book published traditionally was the right thing to do for my novel. So after researching what to do, I went about crafting my next bit of writing, a query letter. Being that it is the 21st century, that meant a powerful email message.

With much research, the agents to query became clear. So one by one, I crafted and constructed queries and either form submitted via QueryManager or that old fashioned creature email. Either way, I did it, the next communication came email. This is where things get scary.

As any first-time author can attest, querying is a daunting and brutal gauntlet. Query, wait, watch the inbox, repeat. I compulsively check my email on my phone for query responses. Anxiety and dread strangle me as I read the checking for mail at the bottom of my phone screen. I want to look away as the email drop in like evil Tetris shapes.

My stomach drops, bile rises in my throat, and I want to throw my phone when I see the subject line “RE: QUERY.” Every time is a gut check. I am stunned at the amount of courage necessary at this point; it takes me to open that message. Even then, I avert my eyes for a beat or two. I’m afraid of that message and what it most likely means.

I know it sounds silly, but query rejection trauma syndrome has made me emailophobic. Every time I convince myself to face the monster, I feel the sting. My optimism has me reading these messages because I know my story needs one champion other than me to get it out there.

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