There was an attempt. I was glad to tell you there was, even though the attempt was as flimsy as a gauze fabric and didn’t held up on its own. But there were hands who did, at least for a time, and I guess that’s enough. Impermanent things don’t hold up for long.
But I am glad to tell you I’m learning.
This week, just before August fully sprouted, I had two requests. Two manuscript requests. Both of them, astoundingly, were just sent last week, at the beginning of the month, when I decided that this will be my last querying season, and next year, I would be attempting something different. I know; let me cherish this small victory. A full and a partial always felt good, because those words I wrote will be read, and the query HAS potential. Now, the bigger tension comes: how will my story weigh in the eyes of these agents?
It didn’t take too long for me to find out. At least, for one. On Friday came a heartbreak. I knew it was coming. I was ready to read the rejection when I saw the subject line. When you’ve given a full, the next subject line you anticipate from an agent is something that mentions “proposal.”
There was no proposal in this one. Only a reply.
I took a good fifteen-minute of self-acceptance before opening the bomb. It was a no, kindly spoken. And I was grateful. For after my many mistakes (sending a not-my-best version, including), my story has been read. My story has been read, you hear. And my story, somehow, has potential.
But a few more self-dissecting sent me to a downward spiral. When you’re a writer anticipating for a publishing miracle, that can’t be helped. And I was there, somewhere at the bottom, hands grazing at the cold, stony texture of the well I voluntarily jumped into.
“What if my story had no place here?”
“What if agents only gave me a chance because I’m a POC?”
“What if my writing voice was REALLY bad?”
“What if the readers can’t connect with the world I built?”
“What if I wasn’t really meant to have a book with my name on it?”
My self-introspection has always been the fun sort. That kind of fun. And to be honest, as the day went on, I didn’t have an answer. I didn’t have a new motivation. But I did came up with a conclusion: there was an attempt. I tried to get into publishing. I tried to write a book.
HIDE AND SING is less shiny now. I have no medals. I have no background. I was just a person, from the sunny country of the Philippines, who just wanted to write. From 2016, I learned so much to be doing what I do now, and I won’t invalidate those struggles just because maybe, in the coming days, I won’t reach the finish line.