The Slog

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.

5 comments to “The Slog”

  1. Maura
    February 27th, 2007 at 1:21 pm · Link

    I feel for you though I only have the Slog on one MS at the moment. I swear I check my email in utter paranoia every 2.5 minutes and I get more antsy by the minute.


    HUGS – bet you’ll hear good news soon!

  2. Charlene
    February 27th, 2007 at 6:27 pm · Link

    You need cupcakes. STAT. 😉 Waiting is always hell. Hope you have some good news soon.

  3. Shelley
    February 27th, 2007 at 10:34 pm · Link

    Hugs, Lauren. Five??? You’ve been really busy. I’m sure the waiting will end soon and in a positive way.

  4. Jaci Burton
    February 28th, 2007 at 11:05 am · Link

    Slog. Love that word. 😎

    I so know the feeling. When I sent my latest proposal into my agent and it took her awhile to send it to my editor, I thought…oh crap. She hates it and just has to figure out a way to tell me. Or no…she and my editor have already decided they don’t want to do anymore books with me, so they’re devising a plan to let me down easy.

    The way our minds work. Turns out it was nothing of the kind, just a flu thing on my agent’s part causing the delay, and the proposal went poof and my editor bought 2 more books.

    But damn, that waiting thing sucks!

    You have five? Five? Dayum. Think how great it’ll be when they all sell, though. 🙂

  5. Lauren
    February 28th, 2007 at 5:50 pm · Link

    Maura – thanks, I hope so!

    Charli – no doubt! But I’d probably eat five, LOL.

    Shelley – yes, three out, two on my agent’s desk. I have been busy but now I feel like I’m running in place, lOL.

    Jaci – I feel so much better knowing I’m not the only one imagining such things!