Lately I’ve been devoting most of my typing resources (outside of working away like a busy bee) to my novel. Re-reading it, Revising it, cursing it, flinging it across the room and running away weeping loudly, you know- the usual. I am now on draft three and anticipate my final version ready to go before agents and/or publishers by December and I can’t help but feel excited, nauseated, heart stoppingly panicked by the thought. I picture the agent with his short cropped hair, a light mustache and a pencil over his ear, reading my work, throwing his hands up in the air and then either running around in excitement or… horror. I really can’t decide which it will be.
These thoughts are troubling because they tend to hinder my progress because I know that my heart will break if every agent and publisher who meets my novel flings into the vertical filing cabinet (read: trash can). In some ways the fear of this makes me prefer my own rose colored daydreams of seeing my book at Borders while I sip a latte and sign books to the more realistic reality… *gulp* I think I can write okay but then in the same breath my insecurities threaten to engulf me. A co-worker offered to read my manuscript and though I lent him and his wife my first 50 pages, when he sat down to give me his feedback, he asked me why I was suddenly the color of strawberry. The fear is natural because I have put myself in it. My characters are all pieces of me, my good and my bad. To reject my work is to reject me. In some ways when I read the work of other published (and successful) writers who I cringe at as I read their adverbs and stilted dialogue, I shout, I can write better than this! and proceed to want to give up since clearly you need to be well connected to get published if this could see the light of day. But that’s not true all the time. JK Rowling, Dr. Seuss, and many other writers nearly fell into obscurity because people didn’t get their work. But finally someone did, and then everyone did. I have to cling to that hope and I have to remember that even if no one but my friends and family read my book, it was still worth something. It was not written in vain.