When I completed my self imposed challenge of writing a novel back in 2008, I had no idea what true challenges lay ahed of me. For me, pushing myself to write a chapter or scene was like going to the gym. It gnawed at me all day as something I “had” to do. I drank coffee and plugged music into my brain to keep me in that chair. When it was over, I smiled happily, riding the wave of euphoria that only another writer can understand. There was less than a handful of people that was privy to the fact that I was working on a manuscript, and for me that was what kept the fire burning. It became a fantasy of seeing my book in print. Of not taking the work seriously, so I could transform myself onto the page, create unimaginable scenarios for my characters. I lived and loved through them. Work had gotten stale, motherhood had gotten hard. My story was my escape.
When at last I considered what I didn’t realize then was only a draft, to be complete, I felt like I had truly accomplished something wonderful. Then I threw it in a corner and got on with my real life. It only took a few weeks before the pangs of longing began. I missed my characters, and to my surprise, new ones emerged and began whispering their stories in my ear. It began with some notes. A simple character sketch, an exchange of witty remarks… before I knew it I was back in the chair. Where the first manuscript took me over a year, I ripped through this one in six months, feeding off of the frenzy of getting the story out of my head and onto the page before it faded from my mind all together. When it was done, it joined ranks with the first, and began the diligent duty of gathering dust.
Life called me back, and the stories in my mind were visited less and less.
Occasionally, an idea would come. As a result I have about seven works in progress that I bounce back and forth between. When I finally gathered the courage to submit my work to agents, I knew I had the horror of rewriting what I had left so long ago. It was hard, but the improvements were needed, and brought a smile to my face as I felt the story becoming tighter.
Now, after seven months of submitting, of revising and rejections, the true challenge has emerged: Waiting.
I have two requests for fulls out, and three partials.
Four months ago I would have sold my soul for one request. Now, I have five. This makes waiting the most daunting task I have ever undertaken. Waiting sucks. I jump every time the phone rings, I check my email fifty times a day, I have writer’s remorse in which I wish I could revise my submission or my synopsis…
The silence is deafening.
Yet, with the waiting there is hope, and the dreams of what each day may bring. There must have been a reason for me to write those words down in the first place… nothing is a coincidence, and the path to one’s destiny is an intricate web of decisions that have led us down this most unique journey.
If nothing else, I am enjoying the ride.