And I’m not talking about a new dance…
I’m talking about the process that comes after you finish writing a manuscript. The process of sending out and waiting. The process of trying to figure out ways to check in without being a pest or seeming impatient when you’re totally impatient and dying to know.
I hate the slog.
When I’m writing, I don’t think about the slog. I just write. But the minute I’m done with edits and revisions it’s all I can think of. The wait. Oh god, the wait is horrible. I hate it.
The wait is that place deep inside you where you first think your book is fabulous and will be snapped up immediately. But the longer the wait, the more the insidious whispers start about how much you suck. About how weak your story is and how you’ll never sell again. Those sales before were all abberations and it’s all downhill from here. When people don’t reply to your emails right away you begin to worry that they’re mad at you or they have something bad to tell you and don’t know how to say it.
The slog, in a nutshell, takes the very confident person and turns her inside out. Sometimes when it’s late and I’m tired and trying to pretend that the slog doesn’t bother me, I like to imagine people like Nora Roberts dealing with the slog. You know just to make myself feel better. I know she did her time but it makes me happy to think about one author who doesn’t have to worry about that next contract. I like to imagine that Nora sends her pages in and everyone grins and says, “It’s good Nora sent this. We love Nora” and she cackles with glee, her power running through her veins and letting the rest of us live vicariously through her. But I digress and that sounds sort of scary. I think I’ve been eating too many Lean Cuisines and bugging my agent too much and it’s making me all loopy. Or rather, loopier.
Essentially, I’m babbling because I am currently slogging over FIVE manuscripts. FIVE. It’s enough to make me eat one of those extreme meals they were talking about in the New York Times today (with two days’ worth of calories in one serving). But as I’m currently nervously nauseated, I’ll probably heat up a lean cuisine and curl my lip at it, accusing it of ruining my life and posting here instead of emailing my agent, yet again today.