Long story short, I wrote a young adult novel and have spent the last two months submitting it to literary agents for possible representation.
I liken this process to pregnancy, which I despised, because I have absolutely no control over anything. Much like pregnancy, all I care about is the end product; the waiting around is what kills me and is when I turn into a psycho miserable monster.
Don’t get me wrong — writing the book was not like pregnancy. Writing the book was heavenly, with all its beautiful moments of “Yes, Sarah, that sounds great!” and “Ooh, what a great idea!” and “Don’t stop now, it’s only midnight.” Writing this book was addicting; I couldn’t wait to leave my crappy day job, put my kids to bed, and then jump into my writing chair and reacquaint myself with my characters. It gave me purpose and drive, something that was severely lacking in my otherwise mundane daily life.
But after that book has been born, and it’s gone through its twelve millionth draft and seen its thousandth critique, it is time to shove it from the nest and see if it’ll fly. I mean, it flies for me; in my eyes, it is my baby, my sweat, my heart, my pride. But giving it up to another to tell me whether they find worth in it is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.
I shall put this into perspective, though, so as not to be too dramatic. It was not as hard as childbirth. It was not as hard as that one-woman show I did in college that nearly wrecked me and my love of theatre for good. It was not as hard as all those opening nights struggling through stage-fright. And it was certainly not as hard as substituting middle schoolers. Talk about painful. But it was difficult to ask someone to judge something I was proud of already.
I don’t believe in luck, so I guess I must say that my hard work paid off and I have been asked for my manuscript a few times. This is, apparently, in the querying world, a Miracle. So I have to be proud. I should be proud.
But instead I’m just impatient. I want instant gratification, and unfortunately for me, this is not the way the process plays out.
In the meantime, I am occupying myself with obsessing over my manuscript. I check my email – I’m not kidding – at least twice every minute for a possible reply to my query. I check QueryTracker (and paid the extra $25 membership fee) for its special features that indicate when others have submitted their queries to each agent and the agent’s response time. I’ve even printed out my character inspiration photos and displayed them next to my desk at work; I like to glance at them occassionally just to keep myself rooted in my obsession. But they also give me hope – my story is real, at least to me, and the more I stare at them, the more hopeful I become. I don’t know why. It’s actually incredibly creepy, but whatever – shit gets strange when you write a book.