On Patience and the Lack Thereof

Dear Readers,

As spring blasts into Vermont like some kind of ravenous beast, I sit in the absolute worst possible position for me. I am waiting.

I am terrible at waiting.

Well, let me rephrase that. I am terrible at waiting for things that matter. I can stand in queues for ridiculous periods of time; I can sit in DMV waiting rooms and doctors’ offices and wait for that magic “A-19” or whatever number to appear for simply interminable lengths. But when it comes to waiting for things of great importance to me, issues in which control has been completely been removed from my hands – I am simply childlike in my petulant immaturity.

After putting it off as long as I possibly could – and by this, I mean writing four (really, four) subsequent books – I came to the conclusion that It Could No Longer Be Avoided. I’d done all of the rewriting I really could; I’d broken the first book into two bits; I’d edited and beta’d and restructured and handed the manuscript out to anyone who could legitimately read it and give me anything resembling an “objective opinion” on it. And then I’d tinkered with it until it really couldn’t be tinkered with much more without admitting that I was Avoiding It.

So I did It.

I have begun the process that will finally – I hope – get the blasted book published, at least the first in the series. As for the subsequent four, well, we’ll have to see how the first one goes, but they are in various stages of completion and will undergo my obsessive tinkering as well until they, too, are Public-Ready. But now I have to wait, as the process is entirely in someone else’s hands, and it’s a bit like having your darling child handled by strangers. Still, it is a necessary step.

So for those of you who’ve asked, “WHERE IS IT?”, my answer is, “IT IS COMING!”

I hope.

This is the process, for those of you unfamiliar with it. The author writes a manuscript and tinkers with it (as above) until his/her neuroses are satisfied, and the author decides that he/she can do no further good. Then they decide how to get it published. There are two principle ways to do this today – self-publication (which is largely as it sounds), and traditional publication. For various reasons outside of the scope of this article, I’m choosing the latter. So, for authors like me, we then compose a Query Letter. We do this (hopefully) after a good deal of study into how to write a decent letter; it’s akin to an author’s letter of introduction for his/her manuscript. We then send these letters off to Literary Agents.

Then, we wait. This is what I’m doing. I’m waiting. More on that in a minute.

Hopefully, we hear back from an Agent who would like us to send some portion of our manuscript to read, and we do this, and they say, “We’d love to be your Agent!” And we, all gleeful, do a happy dance.

And then the real work begins. Because then the Agent goes about trying to find a publisher, and then they negotiate a contract together outlining who gets what and when. And then the writer goes back to the manuscript and changes it according to what the publisher and his/her editor decree needs to be done. And covers are decided upon, and stores are found, and marketing is accomplished, and hopefully all of this is a team effort – but it is becoming more and more largely the author’s job, so the finding of a good team is really a bit of a brass ring.

So as I wait and chew on my nails, I’ve begun a new project, completely different from Angylaidd. This is driving me a little crazy – I miss my Arwein, Daniel, Michael, Gwen, and Tywyll, but the separation is letting the remaining books settle a bit in my mind, which is a good thing.

In the meantime, I wait, and somewhere out there in the great blue sea, there’s a team, just waiting to be built.

Be well, God bless, Love on.

And visit me at https://www.facebook.com/juliachoover, where I post much more frequently. 🙂

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