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Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Waiting Game






And the wait begins. Friday afternoon I sent my manuscript to an agent in New York City. THE BIG APPLE. The Mecca of the publishing world. And with that wait comes a whole new set of emotions to deal with. Pride, for one, because try as they might, not everyone has what it takes to push through a novel length manuscript. There is satisfaction and a real sense of accomplishment because you saw it through all the way to THE END. You didn’t quit when the writing got hard. Fear; is another one, because even though you poured your heart and soul into this piece, what if it’s not good enough?

Then you have the questions. The doubt. You try to walk that razor thin line inside your head without falling off. It’s a dangerous balancing act between realistic expectations and dreams of grandeur. Was it good enough? Should I have written that one particular scene in the book; the scene that’s sure to offend everyone, except maybe three people I know personally. Did I just produce the best, most genius piece of material of my life or should I destroy my computer?

I’m living a writer’s life, I do believe. Self-doubt. Loathing. Hunger. Combined with the unexplainable drive to create worlds and invent characters readers can relate to. Believable characters that real people can stand behind and care about. Or even loathe. Loathing is good.

Like every writer before me, rejection is my nemesis. They are the gatekeepers used to thin the ever-increasing herd, and I accept them as a necessary part of the process. I make every attempt to learn from them. Then I laugh at them, and print them out just to burn them. But rejection is an implement and I keep the ashes in the top drawer of my toolbox. They are powerful, compulsory tools I use to push me forward into the unknown, and they bounce off my Kevlar armor like raindrops on a windshield and roll down my steel breastplate, disappearing into the void with the other hundred that came before it.

So when I say the waiting game begins, what I really should’ve said was the waiting game continues…because to me that is truly a writer’s life. WAITING. Learning patience to hone your craft, and developing a bulletproof casing to protect your fragile ego from the painful, earth shattering bullets of negative response and denunciation.

So while I wait for the reply from New York, I’ll keep in mind that waiting and rejection are both part of the world I’m making a conscious choice to enter and if I can’t take either one, I am surely in the wrong line of work.

5 comments:

Keith Rawson said...

Rejection's your buddy, Matt. Learn to love his tub of lard ass and sit down and have a beer with him.
And good luck.

Frank Bill said...

Good luck! Start on something new and read like a bastard child wanting to ace his hooked on phonics board game. The road you're traveling is long and I wish you well.

Matthew J. McBride said...

Thanks guys. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Elizabeth said...

You've already done more than most people do; you shut your trap and walked the walk of writing the damn thing, not just talking about "that novel I'm gonna write someday."

And should it not find a home this time out that doesn't mean it isn't good enough, only that it hasn't found the right home...yet.

I can't wait to read it.

wereviking said...

Rejection is not your friend. I know Keith is just being flippant, but it's not true. Rejection is a necessary evil. It's part of the writer's ecosystem. It's a fact of life. We even learn from it. But it's not our friend and we don't have to like it -- just not give in.

W

Zephyr -- a superhero webcomic in prose
http://wereviking.wordpress.com