Sunday, July 1, 2012

Who Am I?

Seems like a pretty simple question, doesn't it?

And on the surface, I guess it is.

I'm a woman who has been married for more than half of my life.  I'm a mother to four amazing individuals.  I work full time in a busy office.  I have friends who I join for dinner at least once a month.  I write as much and as frequently as I can.  I watch baseball, basketball, and dance competitions.  I work on fundraisers for my kids and their teams. I serve in my church. And I read when I can.

In my downtime (snicker - yeah, right) I dream of traveling and being published.  Maybe traveling to promote my book, even. 

But when I'm asked to include a biographical paragraph in a query, I freeze up.

All of the things I am, all of the things I do, well, they don't count in that particular paragraph. 

Agents are looking for information about prior publishing experience.  And well, I don't really have any that's relevant. 

Sure, I wrote for my high school paper for three years, I interned for a year at an all-news radio station writing stories to be read on the air, I wrote software documentation for clients, and thousands of letters to those same clients.  I've even written a successful grant - in less than 24 hours, and with very little to go on.

But I haven't been published.

No small articles in major sources, no books.  Nothing that I can add to that paragraph.  Yet.

Part of me winces when I get to that point.  Another part says 'skip it, just say thanks, and let it go'.  I try to listen to the second part of myself.

You see, I'm pretty happy with all of the things in my life that I can't include in that paragraph.  And really, when it comes down to it, those are the things that shape the way I write, the ideas I put into words.

My 'biography' may be unstated in my query letter, but it is ever-present in my work.

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