Anticipation, or In It for the Long Run
I was mulling over this post, and then I came across Shawna’s post at Just Another Day in the Life, on the waiting that is such a part of the publication (or getting-to-publication) process. It says some of what I was already thinking, and I thought I’d add my tweak to the discussion.
Just so you know, this is a realization post, not (as much as it might sound like one) a whine post.
After getting a good way into the synopsis I’ve been working on, I read a bit further into the SCBWI grant information (and, yes, I should have done this sooner; but, no, I didn’t; and, anyway, I got a lot of good information and push out of the work I did do. So.). And it turns out I’m just not far enough along in this manuscript to apply for the grant. Don’t worry, I know there’s a YET in that sentence, and I’m certainly not ruling out the possibility of submitting for another year.
Anyway, I admit, I did have a few hours of “funk” when I first figured this out, but then, you know, my copy of the Writer’s Digest magazine article in it showed up, and life was pretty good again. Still, it all got me thinking.
And I realized that, while I drink hardly any caffeine and don’t ingest any other form of stimulant (other than an occasional decongestant!), I still may have a bit of adrenaline junkie-itis in my make-up. As in, one of the reasons it felt good to think about applying for the grant and one of the reasons I hit a funk, was that not applying meant I don’t have anything big and exciting to anticipate in the near future, not in terms of that journey to fiction publication that Shawna’s talking about.
I may be one of the few people I know who likes the querying process. When I was submitting for my MG mystery, I always made sure I had a few letters in the queue, because I loved the feeling of knowing something of mine was out there and of hoping that maybe, just maybe, it would open a door. No, I don’t love the rejection process; although, yes, nice/complimentary rejection letters can and do make me feel pretty good. But I do love the hope, the chance that when you open your email in the morning, or when you answer the phone, there just might be balloons and confetti waiting for you.
No, I didn’t really expect the balloons for the grant app, but I guess, without realizing it, I was looking forward to what I will now officially call the “possibility high.”
A few years ago, the funk would have been a lot bigger. I think I’ve gotten better at the waiting, and I certainly have lots to be doing during this period–again, like Shawna recommends. Part of this comes from the reassurance that I have, for the first time in my life, plenty of story ideas percolating in files & in my brain. Another part comes from working on a historical novel, I think, and facing the fact that research adds time–TIME–to the writing process, and that there is no cutting corners on it. I also think, though, that a big part of the understanding comes from spending time online, listening to other writers stories, paying attention to what agents and editors are saying, and just hearing that, yes, this is the way it goes. So…thank you, all.
We have to remember, guys, that we’re in this for the long run. We’re writing because we have stories to tell and because, as hard as it can be, there is nothing…nothing “like simply messing about” with words.
Guess I’ll just have to get my adrenaline fix somewhere else.
What?! I meant, watch. Do you think I’m insane?!