Spider Mites: A Lesson in Writing #amwriting #QueryKombat #gardening


Sometimes, writing is like spider mites on your basil plant. You nursed your plant to life from a seedling, cared for it every day, watered it, talked to it (what? I mean, I would never….), and overall did everything in your power to make it the best, leafiest, damned basil plant there is.

Then the spider mites descend from the winds, literally floating on their gauzy webs to find new food. Your food. Your basil plant engineered with the vision of adding it to your spaghetti red sauce one day.

One morning you wake up and your basil is covered in these incessant beasts. You set about the task of wiping each leaf meticulously, removing these nasty pests, trying home organic remedies, and ensuring this second go round will be better. Three months go by, without so much as a web string. Then you wake up, and they’re back.

Writing is like spider mites. You polish your MS within an inch of your life, send it out to the agents and pub houses that be and hope that it flourishes. Then you wake up one morning to find it did not fare as well as you had hoped.

I didn’t make it to Round 3 of Query Kombat but I did gain some invaluable feedback on my query and first 250 words. My next step is to meticulously input my critiques and make my package better than ever for the next round of sunshine and fresh breezes. Which may, or may not, herald new spider mites of rejection and dismay.

My basil plant will be less lucky, but I can always start over again. That’s what gardening (and writing) is about. Rebirth, and a doggone obstinacy that makes you keep doing it over and over, regardless of the outcome. Because it’s soothing and fulfilling.

I think I feel a pasta sauce coming on.

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