October 11th, 2009


Not Knowing

It seems like forever since I gave a writing update. . .  or any update for that matter.  I got my picture for the Ballad/Maggie Stiefvater contest.  It came with a lovely story my friends and I will chuckle about for years.   After the picture two of my friends and I crossed the parking lot to grab dinner.  A friend of my friend joined us.  The woman is a sales rep for McGraw-Hill, a fantastic textbook publisher, and we started talking about publishing, writing, editing, among other things (ie., accidents with expensive purses, germs, football, jewelry).   Anyway, she suggested I give her a couple of chapters, even though M-H doesn't do young adult or fiction (they have a private nonfiction label apparently).   Her reasoning, "An editor looks at it and s/he may have an idea about who to send it to."  Good point I suppose.  But I tell you, every time I consider sending book to someone I get . . . what is the word . . .?  Goofy? No.  Nervous? No.  I get . . . TOTALLY FREAKED OUT?  Yeap, that nails it.  My stomach hurts, I can't talk, I forget the premis of the story.  I shut down . . . And if I could kick myself out of my car on some random road I would.  But nope.  I am stuck with me and all of my hyperventilating.  Jeez.  And here's the deal, it is not about the rejection letters.  Rejections come in all shapes and fashions on a daily basis.  That is life.  I think I am more nervous about the not knowing . . .not knowing how to make writing better . . . not knowing if the draft is good enough to even bother an agent with . . . not knowing if I should wait longer or just go for it . . . not knowing if one more run through is really going to make a difference--I sware typos fornicate when I sleep at night. . . .not knowing what a good agent does/doesn't do . . . not knowing  . . .  just not knowing.

Blah . . .Blah . . .Gag . . . Vomit . . .Uggh!

OK, I have dumped it on a page.  So now what, you ask?  Simple.  I have five more chapters to my book two.  Mandy is still tapping her foot, waiting for me to hand it over. So I will hand it over.  Listen to her comments . . . and likely incorporate them.  And I will start book three and finish book three (no working title because I don't have a sense of it yet).  And while I write, I will laugh at the wacky things my characters do, things I can't anticipate, things that are better than my advance thoughts.  I will argue with them when they wake me up at 3 am with an idea.  I will cry when the sad scenes happen.  I will find the music that carries me through it--I love a playlist.  And when I type "The End" on the last page I will cry and smile.  It will be a bitter-sweet moment.  My characters' story will end.  They will have nothing else to say, to teach.  I will celebrate the fact that I finished three books when I did not know I could finish one.  And then I will let my characters visit an agent and see if the agent likes them.  And if no one does . . . well . . . I will keep writing and continue to celebrate I did something I did not know I could do.  Because I know that "not knowing " comes with great opportunities to learn, to grow, and to celebrate big surprises.  And my friends know I am a HUGE fan of celebrating. . . .and I love surprises.  And sometimes, I just have to take TUMS or eat some cake to ssshhhh the FREAKED OUT part of the not knowing and remind myself of the good stuff that follows . . . something good always follows . . . .

OK, my characters await me . . . five more chapters.

Hugs and Encouragement!