Yesterday I had two significant phone calls (not that my other phone calls are insignificant, but this was in a different sphere) regarding the manuscript I recently submitted. Oh, did I not mention that I FINISHED and SUBMITTED my manuscript to a publisher in the Twin Cities? No? Oh well, you know how these things just happen.
I was FREAKING OUT about it, but I chose to let the dust settle before I wrote about it here. I can get a little…what’s the right word?…um…spazzy when I get excited so I decided to spare you my exclamation points and just casually mention it to you now.
Okay, so now we’ve established that I submitted a completed manuscript, my first attempt at writing a novel, and that I’m a spazz. Well, the editor emailed me and asked me for a synopsis, a term I’ve only read about a little bit as I’ve tried to learn about the publishing process. And since we’ve established that I’m a spazz, of course I read the email and got excited and terrified at the same time. I then sent an email to a woman who has been mentoring me in writing and asked her what this meant and what the heck was a synopsis. She wrote me back and invited me to call her.
This is where it gets interesting.
I visited with her and got some very helpful insight into what I should work on, along with some unearned praise and encouragement. The feeling of being validated in a new adventure is amazing. It brought tears to my eyes. During the conversation, she informed me that she had placed a call to a good friend of hers at a different publishing company, who knows more about the publishing business than anyone she knows. She told him about me and he said I could call him. Oh, and he’s the Director of Acquisitions.
No big deal.
I did call him, and we talked for quite a while. Again, for him to take me seriously and act as though I was really a writer felt absolutely amazing. He invited me to send him my manuscript. Let me rephrase: the director of acquisitions at a publishing company, the guy who decides which books they buy, asked if I’d like him to read my novel. He is currently reading my story.
Did that sound casual enough?
As I think about it, I vacillate between utter joy and huge dreams, and the grim reality that the chances of actually getting published are extremely slim. But as my own story has unfolded, things have happened that I never anticipated. I’d like to think that there’s something else at work here, possibly some providential timing that I can only guess at. That’s where the trust and the bravery come into play. I need to trust that no matter what happens, even if this is the end of the line for my manuscript, I have learned about the process firsthand, and I have the satisfaction of knowing that I accomplished the goal of finishing a whole book. I need to trust the timing. I also need to have the bravery to step through the doors of opportunity if and when they open. It is more than a little scary, and I often feel like I’m fooling myself into thinking that anything will happen. But when I allow myself to trust and believe that something might come of all this energy and time, the prospect is exhilarating.
What are you doing lately that scares you? I’d love to hear about it.
I’m going to put up a portion of a story I’m working on.
I am going to do it.
Any minute now.
I’m going to put it up, and anybody will be able to see it and comment on it or rip it to shreds or say anything about it that they want to. It won’t matter how much effort I put into it or how long it took me to do it or how painstakingly I tried to edit it. It will just be out there and for better or worse, you, Dear Reader, can think whatever you want to about it or about me.
It’ll be great.
Because if you write things only for yourself, you could really disconnect yourself from the rest of the world, all holed-up in your little writing corner (wouldn’t a writing corner be nice? *sigh*). What if you’ve got something people need to hear or a perspective that’s not being offered? You should probably help out the world by sharing your brilliance. Why not be bold about it? Put it out there into the ether and see what comes of it? Right. Bold. Brave. Take my own advice.
I think I need another cup of coffee.
But don’t worry, as soon as I get it, I’m going to come right back and put up a portion of that story and its gonna be great.
Just you wait.
Now where is that coffee mug?