Last October I placed my manuscript, and my hopes and dreams, into the hands of an interested agent. Three weeks passed. And then two more. Much consuming of chocolate, coffee, and a particularly fine Shiraz commenced. Followed by nail-biting and erratic mood swings. Thanksgiving came and went. And then, finally–a response.
It was not the response I had hoped for, nor was it the response I had feared. Instead, it was something different–and, ultimately, better. Better because, after all, it’s all about writing the best book I can write.
Not rejection, and not acceptance, but rather re-direction and an invitation to re-submit. An invitation I eagerly accepted. Armed with suggestions and insights, I got to work.
Now mind you, these were not minor revisions. Edit out most of the first 100 pages. Re-focus, re-work, refine. Re-construct a three book concept into one book with a sequel (in consideration of current economic conditions). Heighten the tension, pick up the pace, develop an even MORE larger than life protagonist.
Whew. Three months later (two months longer than the one month turnaround I had originally promised), I had a new and much improved draft. And once again, I sent my precious off.
Now, even though I knew it would take time, a month at least, for the agent to get to my submission, I opened my email inbox every morning to a chorus of heart palpitations. Three weeks a response appeared…love your book, when can we talk.
It took another two weeks to work out the schedule details–illness, travel, et al. but almost six months to the day after I first clicked ‘send’, I became an agented writer. Two weeks ago, today.
In those two weeks since the representation agreement was signed, sealed and delivered, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on the years it took for me to get here. Every author’s journey to publication is unique, and my path has certainly taken twists and turns. I’ve even driven right off the road a few times. And, there are still miles to go.
I recently heard best-selling author Bob Dugoni a writer’s association meeting last week talking about the three Ps of success: Persistence, Perseverance, and Patience.
I agree–it takes all three of those virtues. And one more thing. A deep, soul searing desire. How bad do you want it?
The answer had better be something pretty close to ‘more than air’.