Or at least my brain and heart…
You see, the Monkey is having difficulty throwing its own poop today.
Because it’s a difficult if not impossible action to undertake when one has scared oneself shitless.
Because I’m setting myself up for the first in a series of rejections on my manuscript this week, at long last. Isn’t that exciting?! It’s the moment I’ve been waiting for!
In all honesty, it does feel really good to finally be at this stage (or deluding myself that I’m ready for this stage). I’m certainly no diva who is staring down my novel and basking in its perfection…but I know I’m past my “Fraying at the End” point and have reached instead where I’ve read it over and revised so many times, walked away from it a while, walked back to it and read it over and revised so many times more that I personally am quite satisfied and happy with it. Yet I humbly also think it’s as far as I can take it myself until it falls in someone‘s nurturing hands, whether it’s actually picked up by an agent or publisher (dare I even think it?!) or me shelling out the cash for an editing service should I go the route of self-publication. My lovely beta-reader was tremendously helpful as I shaped up the early drafts, so if it meets with rampant rejection in its current form, she’ll surely be called back in for more consultation :). I once feared someone else’s suggestions would make the story less than my own. But through the beta-reading process and now developmentally editing another’s work for publication, I’ve come to see how nice-n-polished-n-perdy a tale can become from this outside input (my recently published sister likened it to a “spa treatment” for her novel). Not that I’m expecting to get any sort of feedback through the submission process. I know I won’t…
This is a rather vulnerable stage, isn’t it…in some way empowering, yet also feeling like sending one’s child off to school for the first time…*sniff* *sniff*…or to the gallows ;)…
I’m going to give my mind a little break on this for a bit, as I’ve written and revised to blindness, and rather than dwell on the negativity my Inner Critical Beeyotch may eventually spew, what I know right now is that my manuscript in its present incarnation passes the test I’ve had for it all along:
Is it the story I wanted to write? Check.
Is it a story I would want to read? Check.
Did I enjoy the process? Check.
Does it reflect who I am as a person and a writer? Check & Check.
Is it something I’m committed to strengthening further down the road for the sake of its own existence as its best self? Check.
Started during my first months living in London and spanning the two years I’ve lived here so far, there’s a lot in this work that encapsulates my own experiences and observations (hence, my “From Sentiments to Sentences” posts), so at the very least it will be a special little time machine for me take a spin in when nostalgic in the future.
Beyond this, I reckon it’ll be time to bring my blog back to its origins for a little while—i.e., belching out the randomness of my mind in response to short writing prompts. I’d originally started the blog to do just that as, at the time, I was caught in a writer’s block. Well, at this point, I think the creative rescuscitation will do me good in not only eventually revisiting this first manuscript and getting rolling with that second novel idea that’s been flitting about in the cobwebby corners of my cranium, but also, quite simply, writing for writing’s sake.
Those prompts could be just the laxative the Monkey needs to keep my throwin’ arm warmed up, after all…
December 1st, 2010 at 08:32
I’m nervous for you – and excited. Good luck – and keep your head up, keep going 🙂
December 1st, 2010 at 16:28
Thank you, Glen! I’m glad to be going into it with my eyes fully open. “Expect the worst, hope for the best” sort of mindset so that I won’t be too disappointed :).
December 1st, 2010 at 09:32
All the all the all the best, my dear. Those are exciting and roller-coaster-like times. Fingers crossed from Berlin!
December 1st, 2010 at 09:33
By the way – your choice of pics is as always so much on the spot. Loved it.
December 1st, 2010 at 16:34
*hee* I take that as a high compliment from someone who always has the cleverest images, and multiple ones at that! I don’t challenge myself beyond just the one :).
December 1st, 2010 at 16:33
Yowzah, fingers crossed is what I need, so glad to have good vibes coming from another country as well :). I’m happy to have gained perspective, though, thanks to those in the trenches who have shared their experiences like yourself—I at first thought getting the agent was next-to-impossible, but then to see how achieving that doesn’t promise anything for a manuscript either is daunting to say the least, so I’ve just tried to keep the focus on writing a book I like and perhaps start saving for when self-publishing becomes the only viable option beyond just emailing my friends and family the PDF file ;).
December 1st, 2010 at 14:37
“You have taken your first step into a larger world.” – Obi-Wan Kenobi
“That’s one small step for a monkey, one giant leap for monkey-kind” – Neil Armstrong (what he meant to say)
December 1st, 2010 at 16:38
Ah yes, that fool for screwing up the words – the moon atmosphere must have muddled his mind ;).
THANK YOU for the good wishes – you’re my submission hero, truly, and have taught me to persevere. Monkey fingers crossed…
And still contemplating the Write1Sub1; coolest idea.
December 2nd, 2010 at 21:15
Oh! How exciting for you! I envy you and I don’t. Think you’ll know what I mean. I had it planned, long ago, when I was a naive writer with rose-tinted spectacles, that I would have already submitted to several agents. I was going to do that back in October, but never mind that. Life is what happens when you’re making plans…and I’m okay with the huge set back I had. It was meant to happen to veer me in the right direction.
Anyway, I am excited for you, seriously. I wish you the best of luck and I hope you’ll keep us posted on what is happening 🙂
December 3rd, 2010 at 10:56
Well, now that I’ve read your new blog, I can likewise say how exciting for you! Cyber high-five your way on the decision to publish your stories; that’s awesome! You are correct that I know what you mean…and it’s been helpful to read the experiences of others ahead in the process these last several months so that I could poke out those rose-tinted lenses and flick those stars out of my eyes and see the reality of what a challenge getting published in the traditional way will be. Even seeing that those who scored agents still didn’t get their manuscripts placed…in any case, I’ll babble more on this when I finally get around to writing my 3rd post on publication…In the meantime, proud of you, lady! 🙂
December 3rd, 2010 at 12:10
Thank you. You never know, the traditional route could work and not be as troublesome as you think. At least you are aware of all the road blocks ahead and that is very important.