Cover letters are death

So, I owe an apology because I didn’t post last week due to the holiday. One of my best friends comes to visit us every year, and I admit that I didn’t think about posting until after she left. I hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, if you and your family/friends do anything for turkey day.

Now that we’re done with Thanksgiving, and the big holiday season is coming up quickly, I find myself thinking about the different journals that I want to submit to at the beginning of the year. Many that I want to submit to have submissions in January, which is what I’m aiming for, but it means that I need to start working on my  cover letters.

I’m not sure if everyone feels this way, but cover letters are something that I struggle with writing. I have so little to say about myself that my cover letters look a step below pathetic.

I’ve been told that some publishers don’t read the cover letter until after they’ve read the submitted work, which is probably good in my case, but I still spend a great deal of time stressing out over them. I always spend about half an hour on each because I want to personalize each letter I send out. I feel like a generic letter is a little insulting to the editor and gives the impression that I don’t care who I’ve sent my work to.

Pathetic cover letters aside, the piece that I’ve been working on for several months, and the one I was planning on submitting, still isn’t coming together like I want. I’m aiming for about 4000 words, and I’m about halfway there.

I think the concept is decent, but I’m having a hard time adding enough detail to keep the story intriguing. I got a comment during my graduate work that my writing seemed more directed to a young adult audience. I have several friends who are excellent YA authors, but that’s not what I want to write, so I keep worrying about whether the content and the prose are too elementary.

I’ve been playing around with varying sentence structure in different parts of the story to try and evoke different emotions within the reader, but I’m afraid I might be trying to do too much given my word limit.

Still, I have a little less than a month if you factor in holiday breaks, and I see my family so infrequently that I often feel guilty trying to find time to write while visiting. My parents and my husband’s parents only live ten minutes from each other, so juggling between two families during holidays is sometimes challenging because I always try to split the visit 50/50 between our two houses.

We’re also going to try and go skiing this year. Colorado is blessed with some of the best skiing, and I do my best to keep up even though I haven’t spent much time on the slopes. I hoping to improve this year.

Hopefully I’ll have a better grasp on my story next week.

Fingers crossed.

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