I sucked it up yesterday and posted my query in the Show Your Work [and thus get feedback] Thread over at AW. (If you've missed the link for AW in past posts, you can find it listed in Important Sites over yonder. -->) The concept of putting yourself out there for constructive criticism like this is lovingly referred to around the boards as Query Hell. A lot of members who offer suggestions for improvements don't sugar coat them. They can, sometimes, rip your stuff to shreds. And then they tell you how to make it better.
So since yesterday, and because of the feedback I've gotten, I've made amazing improvements to my query. Comments are still coming in, so likely I'll continue tweaking, but I'm very pleased with my results. I'm eager to send out the next batch and see if it gains any interest!
One thing I've realized through this process is that I won't agree with everyone's critique. Some are right on, giving me tips for things I'd never thought about. They really know their stuff - they've been through it themselves - and sincerely strive to help make another's query better. Other times, what's suggested doesn't seem quite right. This is why I have to weigh my options, and pick and choose those of the suggestions that work best for me, for my voice.
But wow, what a learning experience! It's thickening my skin (which can only help with all those rejections, really) and helping me learn to think in new ways, about how to get my points across better (it's been my habit with this query to use passive statements), and make it all come together smoothly.
Here's hoping it makes a difference!
PS. If you're checking out my blog for the first time, and you're not familiar with what a query is, see this previous post for an explanation. And thanks for stopping by!