This is a story about the importance of 1) having a good sense of humor, and 2) never giving up.
About 5 years ago I took 5 million classes from Writers Digest on how to write a query letter for my book Aging Naked. At the time I only had two chapters completed, but was still actively blogging with HuffPost, so I really emphasized the popularity of my blog with the same title. I was so confident that I'd be picked up right away.. Why? Well, because I'd already written three academic books in the same general area. And I have the credentials to write a self help book. And, because I'm a good writer.
Anyway, the workshop leaders recommended including the link to our blogs in our query letters, which I proudly included. I was regularly featured on several HuffPost "verticals," including Huff Post Women and Huff Post 50, and many of my posts had gone viral, so yeah, I was pretty confident.
And yet, I didn't get much response, This was very confusing to me. I received a few requests for my proposal (okay, two), but really nothing else. I was baffled. I mean, I know it's really difficult to land a literary agent. In fact, it's difficult to even get your work in front of a literary agent, so I wasn't under any misconceptions that I've have a bidding war on my hands, but I expected more than complete silence.
So at some point I sent my query letter to a friend to review and she quickly pointed out something one teeny-tiny error with a very big punch. Apparently, when she clicked on the link to my blog, it took her to a porn site. A porn site! Somehow when I copied and pasted the blog link into the letter, something went awry, and I never thought to check it.
So the next time you feel badly about yourself, the next time you are certain you've made a mistake you can never recover from, just remember that I, a university professor, therapist, mother of a son, and all around detail-oriented person, sent porn to just about every literary agent in the entire country..
Did I give up? Nope! But I do hope these agents didn't keep good records and have really poor memories.
This is a blog for middle-aged women, like me, who want to live a life of increased authenticity, and greater well-being, with fewer façades, less role-playing and a lot more fun. I chose a photo with myself and my son because he is my heart.
You can also find my blog posts featured on