Well, there is nothing as humbling as pursuing publication. Really…well, besides hospital stays where any modesty you ever had is gone…but that’s another post…
When you’re putting your work out there for someone else to evaluate, words and characters that you’ve put together in the wee hours of the night (or morning) and no one has seen them but you, it can be pretty scary. After all, your characters may say things that make you laugh out loud or snicker or cry, but that’s you…and maybe you’re crazy. Right? Don’t you ever wonder, “am I the only one that thinks this is good?” And despite how real your characters are to you, you ARE still laughing by yourself in an empty room…
And then when you finally get up the nerve to let your characters out into the big, bad world, they get sent back to you. Sorry. Not good enough.
So, last week or maybe the week before, I emailed my new manuscript to my agent. Now, I haven’t signed on that long ago with her, so this process is still new to me. And this is only the second book she’s seen from me, so I was um…a *little* nervous. And yes, I did have those daydreams where she calls me up and says “I don’t know what I was ever thinking signing you…you don’t know how to write!” It really is a tough business. Much tougher than even the *craziest* brides I’ve dealt with in my past life.
This weekend she sent me a quick email saying she read my manuscript and can we chat. Immediately I inhale as though horrific news has just arrived. I was sitting in the car beside DH, and the kids in the back seat, staring at the email, looking for a hint that maybe she liked it.
Here’s how my conversation with the DH went:
DH: “What’s wrong?”
ME: “She read it. And she wants to talk.”
DH: (looking very confused at my reaction): “So?”
ME (Me shocked that he’s not following my train of thought): “She didn’t say anything. That means she hates it, or there’s big problems.”
…anyway the conversation went circular from there so I’ll spare you the rest.
But that night I did speak with my agent and she liked it! She talked about my characters (like they were real people and laughed too-see we’re not crazy!) She also spoke about some moments that she really liked, that were emotional…
It made my night. Really. I got off the phone feeling like maybe I can really do this…