I find myself operating in that weird, teenage place of hope and denial recently.
So last month was a month of chances for me as a writer. I did one of the most nerve-wracking things I could believe – I gave my book, randomly, to someone I knew to read. Doesn’t sound too revolutionary, I know, but the only people who had read my stuff so far were hand-picked to love it – and me! Not that I bemoan their truthfulness or opinions but, well, they weren’t about to crush any of my dreams, no matter how much they needed to be stepped on.
Lo and behold, the impossible happened – she loved it. She loved everything about it! And my heart grew two sizes (not that I’m a Grinch, I just have a really big heart now, you know, cause who likes economy sized). So then I did something even more impressive – I participated in a charity auction for a 20 page critique from an agent I liked. And, after spending WAY too much money – for a very worthy cause though, Water for Crits, look it up – I sent my first three chapters spiriting through the ether.
How, you may be asking, is this anything like high school. Stop being impatient, I’m getting to that . . .
So I sent the words away and was told that I would hear something within the next 45 days. It’s been about 30 and I’m starting to think about it too often, every time my phone shows the email icon in the corner, wondering if it’s from her and if it’s anything that I want to hear.
When I was a teenager I knew I wanted to be a writer. I didn’t have the courage to admit it and I didn’t have the dedication to pursue it, but I still knew it. Have probably always known it. And I remember being a senior in high school and one of our projects for English was to write a college admissions essay. I spent an endless number of nights figuring out what I wanted to say and when I turned in that essay I was as confident as I could be in it. Throughout the week our teacher would read bits and pieces of essays that were good but it was never mine. I started to doubt myself, to think that I had been wrong, maybe I hadn’t succeeded. Until Friday when we came into the class and the teacher sat down and read my essay in entirety.
And that’s what I’m hoping for now – that the best is last. And then the denial hits – when I realize that I didn’t send in my chapters to be critiqued, I sent them in to be validated. I LOVE my novel, I love 100% absolutely everything about it. I can take advice and suggestions and criticism – what I can’t take is if I find out that everything I did is just unintentionally wrong.
I’ve been told that after the first two chapters of my book, you’re hooked. And I sent in three. I’m holding onto some possibly childish, probably foolish, hope that the sky will open up and the heavens will sing and it will all work out beautifully.
But life has a tendency to get messy . . . .