Step Five: The Waiting Game


I was counting up my submissions yesterday. I’ve sent five so far and I’m doing for another this week. If I’m going to keep up to my goal of one a week then I’ll need to do one before I go away this weekend. So far, however, this week has been rammed full of other stuff I need to worry about.

I got some news at my job that was very worrying, for instance and then realised that my driving theory test is much sooner than I thought it was (bloody glad I checked my diary!!!). Top that off with lagging work on The Ice Wolf Tavern, where the guys haven’t seen me post for probably a month and a half, then there are lots of places I want to be giving my attention. And its a shame that I can’t.

So… having to wait is actually quite nice. It means there’s nothing more I can do for those people to whom I’ve made the submissions. I just have to sit tight, wait for the responses and cross my fingers for something positive or, at the very least, constructive that I can use to make the piece better.

But with waiting comes the insecurities. That tiny little voice at the back of your head which says ‘You’re not ready. Did you show it to enough people? Was your editing hard enough? Is the story even any good?! Have vampires had their day? Don’t you need to write mush and pink faff like Stephanie Myer to get anywhere these days? Is your cover letter good enough? Did you put enough postage on the envelope?’ All these things are just turning constantly through my head to the point that I feel knackered as soon as I get up. I don’t seem to remember feeling this way the last time around I did this. I can’t decide if that was over confidence in my abilities then, or if I was just so distracted by uni work that it made no difference and I was tired all the time anyway. I can’t tell. I do keep picking up that folder of rejections though, and remembering how it felt to get the letter back; even if it was bad news.

There is a submission I do want to make; I’ve mentioned it before. Problem is, I’ve chickened out of it twice and made the submission to another agent instead. Heh; pussy. I’m talking about John Jarrold. The email is all written up, with just one more thing to add that he specifically asked for on his site. The sample is ready too; I even went through it again with a fine tooth comb to be sure I’ve picked up all typos and grammar. But I can’t make myself send it. The odd thing is, something at the back of my mind tells me I’ve missed something, but I can’t put my finger on what it is. Until that feeling goes away, I’m not going to send it. I need to be sure that for each agent I submit too; everything is absolutely perfect (in as close a sense as I can get, since there is ALWAYS room for improvement). That’s why I’m spending a whole week preparing each submission (also to spread out printing and postage costs – yikes!)

So far however, the waiting game is such that I really should be looking at other projects to take my mind of it. There is the block of editing I’m doing, but pretty soon I’m going to need to go back to actually writing to remind myself of why I’m in this business. What with all the cutting and rewriting and swapping and changing and high profile agents, I’m beginning to forget the fact that I just love telling a story.

I’ll tell you what…. NaNoWriMo this year is going to be a life saver! By that point, if I haven’t started anything new, even if its only a 15k short, then I’m going to need to madness that is NaNo just to give me the enjoyment back.

About Ileandra Young

I'm a thirty-*mumbles* year old (purple loving, cheese worshipping) author of fantasy, juggling a pair of beautiful twin boys with my burning desire to make up stories and write them all down. When I get the chance, I play games, listen to music, and in days long past I even ran a radio show. Though I occasionally write non-fiction, my heart lives in fantasy and my debut novel, Silk Over Razor Blades is now available through Amazon along with part two of the trilogy, Walking The Razor's Edge.
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