Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Waiting

The Waiting Place ...
... for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

--Dr. Seuss: Oh, The Place You'll Go!-

Including me.
And it's killing me.
I thought the hardest part of this whole publishing thing would be finding an agent. So when I did, I figured I was relieved of the stress, that my agent would take that load off me and I would be free to pursue everything else.
But it doesn't work that way.
I was naive.
I had no idea just how hard it is to wait.
Yes, I had to wait when I was sending out query letters to agents, but that was active waiting. I never knew when I checked my email whether I would find a rejection; or a request for a partial or full manuscript; or a request for my nonfiction proposal.
And, if I got a rejection, I didn't let it get me down.
I just whipped off another query letter and prepared to wait again.
I'll admit it; it was kind of fun.
It was even kind of exciting.
This is different.
Don't get me wrong.
I appreciate being in this situation.
And I have a great agent who will do great things.
But, while he is submitting to publishers, I am simply doing everything I possibly can to distract myself. I'm trying not to get my hopes up every time the phones, trying not to check my email every ten minutes, trying not to imagine a whole bunch of editors saying, "Nah."
I'm really trying.
I've written another chapter of my second novel. I'm working on a freelance piece. I'm tearing wallpaper off bathroom walls. I am concentrating on my four children and on making their summer a good one.
But it's not enough because I still have time to think.
Think.
Think.
Think.
Sigh.

3 comments:

Shirlee McCoy said...

Well, you're not quite as naive as I was. When I finished my first book, I thought...."There it is. I'm done. The hardest part is over." Ha!

I had no idea what the publishing world was about. No idea at all.

So, here I am, ten years after writing that first manuscript, five years after my first book hit the shelves, thirteen books published, four more contracted....and I still don't know squat about this business.

And I still hate the waiting. Because even after your agent snags you that wonderful contract, you'll wait. And wait some more. And wait again. Sigh.

Worse, you're still going to imagine a whole bunch of editors saying, "Nah."

Me? I stil doubt my writing, I still always think it can be better and I still wonder if my editor is snickering as she reads my overwritten prose and lackluster descriptions. I guess that's part of what being an author is about - always wanting more from ourselves, always pushing for something better.

BTW, I found you through the Coultiers adoption blog, and was excited to see a fellow writer who's got a fairly large family!

sputnitsa said...

For all the waiting and the trying to distract yourself...you are living something incredibly awesome. :) You wrote a book and somewhere in the world another human being, an objective agent soul, had to have it. Liked it and decided to focus their days on selling your book so more people could read it.

Just knowing that has got to rock, right? :)

I know, I know, you've described a sort of waiting room purgatory...but it sounds like a heaven I'd like to be in eventually. :)

So CONGRATULATIONS :) and good luck sticking it out :) And I think you missed a spot with that wallpaper. ;)

twinsmom said...

Thanks for the words of encouragement! I emailed my agent and told him I couldn't stand being totally in the dark any more. I want tidbits of info, but I don't want all the details. So we're having a phone meeting in two weeks.