What am I doing right now? On this glorious blue sky, sunny bank holiday Friday? I’m trying to write a covering letter for Silver.
Note the word ‘trying’.
I hate writing covering letters. I haven’t even started on the synopsis yet but if memory serves I hate those as well.
I’m sat with my laptop, a guide to getting published open next to me and a Google window searching for covering letter samples, determined to do this right.
I started off ok, my contact details, the date, a space for the agent’s address. It was all going so well. Even the first paragraph went without a hitch. I can just about introduce Silver (it’s amazing how you can spend a year of your life writing something, know it inside out and love it like a child but when someone asks you what it’s about you stumble and stutter and gibberish comes out). It’s the paragraph about me that I hate and after five attempts I’m very tempted to just write ‘please’ over and over.
The book I have open says that while covering letters are important, they’re not that important. On the contrary, an article I just read states that covering letters are the most important thing. You know what riles me the most? I have spent a year or so of my life putting my heart and soul into this book and I know that it’s the best thing I’ve done so far. I would hate for it to fail just because of one little letter. And one little letter should not be this hard to write!
I am reminded of my favourite book, ‘The Body’ by Stephen King where Mr King writes;
The most important things are the hardest to say...because words diminish them...
Perhaps the best approach to covering letters is to take the pressure away. To have a book published may be a lifelong dream but it must be put into perspective; most writers do not get their first, second or even third books published (Silver is my second). If I don’t make it now I will do in the future.