Thursday, December 01, 2005

That Sinking Sensation

I was racking my brain trying to figure out what I wanted to blog about when I realized I had experienced something this week that probably every writer, published or unpublished, has experienced. It's not the joyous emotion of hitting that perfect scene, or finally having your hero or heroine pop off the page fully formed. Nor was it the bittersweet sensation of typing the end on a first draft.

Nope. On Monday I sent my baby into the big bad world. Okay, it was only a partial - but one that's been revised based on an editor's feedback - so I don't suppose I got the full shot of adrenaline rushed anxiety that I might have if it had been a full. I did still experience that familiar sinking dread. Although it's entirely possible that rolling sensation in my stomach could just have been because of the $20.00 check I wrote to send my baby to Canada.

Either way, I know the clerk behind that long, lonely counter thought I was bonkers. Not only did I need IRCs (something that seems to baffle every USPS employee), an envelope so my precious pieces of paper could be sent back to me at my expense, and verification that it had gotten to the right place so that I wouldn't spend hours or days of my life worrying that my wandering child had made it safely to protective arms. But then, after my friendly US Postal worker looked askance at my unusal requests he had to practically pry the envelope from my hands.

I really didn't want to let it go.

I have such high expectations for this story. it's hard not to. And don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining because I realize just how lucky I am to be in this position, but I've spoken to my (hopefully) editor about this book. She's read part of it and liked it. But what if she doesn't like the rest? What if everything falls apart? She hates the changes I made to my heroine? She doesn't like the direction of the subplot we discussed. And the new ending to chapter three just sucks.

What if this is my one shot and I've just blown it?

I think that's probably why I stalled sending this baby out - it was ready a week ago. And why I have difficulty ending each and every story I write.

Because as long as I'm working on a story I can always make it better. Anything I learn, any ah ha moments, can be incorporated, and if I wake up tomorrow with that one last piece of the publishing puzzle suddenly in my brain then I still have a chance to fix whatever was wrong with my story. But once it's out of my hands and into the wonderful postman's then my job is done.

And I no longer have control.

That's the toughest part for me. As a control freak in every other aspect of my life I find it exceedingly difficult to place my dream in the hands of someone else.

So how do I get through it?

I have wonderful friends who support me (yes, that's you guys :-)) and an inate sense of confidence (Thanks Mom and Dad!). And a realization that if I want to be published then I have to submit, take that chance, and keep trying no matter what. I've made my mind up to succeed and I will. No matter how long it takes or how hard I have to work to get there. I'll make it - and I know every one of the other children will too!


1 comment:

Maven Linda Winstead Jones said...

Yeah! I can get in today. For the past several days, every time I hit the comment link it tells me the page does not exist.

It's true, we have no control beyond the story we write. I've never had a hard time letting my manuscripts go, because by the time I'm finished, the next book's characters are driving me nuts. My turn. My turn, my turn, my turn. **g**

I once had another writer tell me that she had such a hard time letting characters go, when she was finished with the story she wrote a scene where she sent them out on a boat and blew them up. Shudder. I could never do that. The characters are still alive for me, they're just out of my hands.

BTW, the best way to get over the anxiety of putting that baby int he mail is to forget it and start writing something else. That, or massive amounts of ice cream. **g**