1) Decide to do a major rewrite of your novel.
2) Begin said rewrite and get really psyched about it. Your novel rocks so hard now that you are doing this rewrite.
3) Proceed merrily along for over a month, editing your happy little heart out. Man this is fun.
4) Do several different types of outlines to make sure you’ve covered all bases, there are no glaring gaps in your story. Do some character profiles while you’re at it.
5) Abruptly discover that you are done with all editing and it’s time to start querying again.
6) Feel the butterflies attack your stomach. It kind of feels like they are nibbling away at your insides.
7) Open up your last query letter, which you wrote randomly a couple weeks ago while in your oh-so-happy artistic editing stage. Still happy with it.
8) Fire it off with great gusto to a new agent that is looking for books just like yours.
9) Ten seconds after hitting send, discover a glaring redundancy in use of phrase.
10) Begin to doubt the entire query letter, which moments ago you loved.
11) Stare at the query letter for half an hour, then avoid anything productive for the rest of the evening.
12) Wake up the next morning. Realize you’ve got to get back on the horse. You’ve edited your brains out. You’ve now entered a place where you are simply stalling to avoid rejection.
13) Obsess over your query letter for just a few more minutes. Feel a glimmer of hope. Mostly, know that you must have faith in yourself and your writing.
14) Ignore the butterflies, and fire off some more queries.
*Editor's note: I wrote this about ten days ago when I started my latest round of queries. Coincidentally, the query that made me write this (with the horrific glaring redundancy) is the one that the agent ended up requesting some of my pages. Now, whether she will like my pages is still a story to be told. But this is just another bit of evidence that agents are humans after all and will forgive some of your errors. Unless you are in The Matrix, in which case agents are not human and they will kill you.
Heehee, couldn't let that one slip by ;-)