While I was busy torturing myself for not writing as much as I had before traveling to Israel, the universe had other plans in mind for me. Yesterday, after a couple months spent sending queries to agents, I suddenly and without warning received my first full manuscript request. An agent, for the first time, wanted to see my entire novel.
I’m taking a break to dance a little victory dance. Very little, because this is just one small step, and there is no guarantee that I won’t end up back on square one.
But still, I feel like this is a big deal. An agent wants to read my entire novel! She liked the query and first two chapters enough to want to read more.
But I also want to keep my perspective, because I’ve been disappointed before, and I know myself already: I take rejection hard. What am I saying? I take praise hard too. A no-win situation. You tell me my writing’s good, I get depressed thinking I won’t ever be able to duplicate it. You tell me my writing’s bad, I get depressed about that too, because you really didn’t need to confirm what I already knew.
But this time, I’m going to be nice to myself. I’ve decided to take a new road. Remember my holes in the road blog? I’m going to be happy and hopeful. I’m going to imagine the best outcome: The agent’s going to love the novel and want to represent me, and she’ll give me fantastic ideas for revisions which are going to make me feel like I’m seeing the novel through new eyes. But just in case she decides she is not interested, I also have a plan. I’m going to allow myself to feel sad, but I’m not going to take any step back (and definitely not the ten steps back which I used to take, with my hand clutching dramatically at my heart). Because a full manuscript request is a huge small step. And I’m going to take this full request as an encouragement. I already have some ideas for revision, and I know how to move ahead.
Small step forward. Keeping my eyes focused on my page.
Most important, I am writing. I want to keep going with this fun romance novel I started (did you know the second most popular occupation for a romance hero is cowboy?). I want to get back to all the other ideas which have been born in my mind in all the years since I realized that writing is the only thing I want to do. Because, remember when I told you (and myself) that I’m a novelist? Well, it’s true!
In conclusion, I’d just like to say that all this came about by the help and energy of Dennis, our dog walker, who likes my three dogs so much that he recommended me to the notice of his friend, the literary agent. Thank you Dennis! I always knew there was a reason I kept those dogs around.