So this is me, being me, being real.
It’s that time again. Time to get out the old paper bag and start breathing. Nice and slow.
An author’s life is cyclical. At least this has been my experience. It looks largely this:
Idea for book is born. Research. Write. Edit. Write. More research. More editing. Write. Edit.
Submit to Agent.
Hyperventilate some more.
Work on next book while waiting for word from agent.
Consume copious amounts of coffee, wine or whatever floats your boat.
Write. Breathe. Spend copious amounts of time on Facebook as therapy.
Agent wants to talk.
Get the picture? This goes on and on and on…and it’s fun. Really. I mean it. I LOVE writing. I just love it. I have so much fun with my characters and their stories. And I LOVE my agent. I love that we can chat, even though we are in different countries…it’s cool to touch base over skype. I LOVE that so far I have two published books to my name. I LOVE my readers, and I really love hearing when they’ve enjoyed one of my books. And of course I LOVE all my writer friends, without whom I would be completely bereft. They are great at talking me down off those ledges.
Oh, yah. Those. You see, in the midst of all this fun I’m apparently having, a tiny part of me lies curled up in a fetal position with her hands over her ears ignoring the fact that, despite my resolve to ‘stay calm’ and not let things bother me as much, they still do.
When I allow myself to think about the fact that there are two projects out on submission right now, I stress. My neck stiffens. My shoulders knot. My breathing quickens and I want to reach for that brown paper bag.
It scares me.
Because honestly, I don’t know what’s coming for me and my writing. I already know that one of the houses I would really love to write for said no. And that’s discouraging. That jacks my pulse up and gets me going with all those what ifs…
If I get a bunch of rejections (again) from the bigger publishers, how am I going to take that? What is that going to look like for me and my future career? Do I have options? Do I want the options? And so on and so forth. While I know that working myself up into a state of sheer panic is probably not the wisest move, I’m still vulnerable. When I allow my mind to go places it shouldn’t, I freak out a bit.
But then I stop, breathe. Pray. And remember some very wise words.
All It Takes is One.
One yes. One yes in a bunch of nos can make or break this whole thing. I’ve been there. I’ve had those yes moments, and I know how good they feel. But sometimes you have to wait for them. Sometimes they don’t come. But when they do, you know it’s the best thing for you.
I forget this because I’m prone to ledge walking. I see the glass half empty instead of half full. I get a cold and envision double pneumonia. I’m just one of those people. But I’m trying very hard not to be.
And maybe that’s why I’m sharing this today. Maybe I need a little boost of encouragement. Someone to say it’ll all work out or you know, whatever happens, you’ll be fine. Maybe I’m just telling myself all this because I know if I don’t, I’ll be headed for that ledge. Maybe someone else, maybe you, need to hear it too.
It’s not easy. Whether you’re waiting for news about a book or a job offer or a medical diagnoses, walking through the unknown is tougher than stink. I wish I could say I’ve discovered a magic potion we can all down together and poof, all our dreams come true in the next instant, but life doesn’t work that way. We’re in these moments for a reason. Reasons we might not comprehend or appreciate for years to come. But here we are. And so I’m choosing to walk through it, taking my baby steps, one foot in front of the other, knowing that I’ll get to wherever it is I’m going, because I know the way. I’ve traveled this road before. And each time I head down it, I take a few more friends with me.
Thank you for being one of them today.