I have finally (after many years of procrastination – my second favourite P word) applied the edits and suggestions to my synopsis of Aaric, the children’s novel I wrote while at school, that several people were kind enough to give me. Their words and wisdom were greatly appreciated and I thank them all for their support and motivation to push me towards the next step of this journey we call “growing hair on your peaches to laugh in the face of rejection and risk a pain worse than a rabid squirrel bite to the scrotal region so we can possibly get the chance to send our completed manuscript to a publisher so they can tell us, in all likelihood, that what we have written isn’t good enough to line the cage of gastro-intestinally deficient ferret”. Or we could just call it the publishing arena.
So tonight, of all nights, I will read up on my chosen publisher (the first of many probably), and prepare myself for oblivion. I know I have a story that is marketable. I know I have some talents when it comes to the written word. What I don’t know is if I have the stomach to keep going if this publisher decides that my story isn’t good enough. I know there is only one way to find these things out, by actually doing it, but that still opens up my heart, my mind, and my nutsack for a beating I might not be ready for.
And it is time to find out if I have the intestinal fortitude to be a writer. Successfully navigating the NaNo last year gave me a glimpse into my dedication – I learned I could complete a task in a limited time span just by forcing myself to write. My one published credit, also had a short window to get done and I managed it, turning in my manuscript one day after the deadline. I know it won’t be a question of me not being able to meet a deadline or having the grit and perseverance to finish the task outlined before me. No, this will be more about if I have the desire to pick myself up if I get squashed.
I suppose that is the writer’s life in a nutsack, nutshell. If it were easy, we’d all be Stephen King. Once you have found your muse (I’m still looking for mine if I’m honest … Hmmm, that could be another blog post entirely) that makes your idea come to life and you put that idea on paper you are only a quarter of the way there. You then have to kill your babies to polish it up and get it ready for rejection (most likely). And after months of waiting for a reply from the publisher or agent, you check your mailbox (whether email or little metal one attached to your house) to see a message from the publishing house. And then you wait some more, too afraid to open it (most likely) because the memory of little Belinda Lang saying “no” to you when you asked her to dance in grade 9 still stings. And besides a few lonely nights all those years ago, Belinda Lang didn’t occupy many of your dreams. Your book does. It might. I don’t remember my dreams but I guess this isn’t important right now. This is what you have sweated over. If that letter says, “Thank you for your submission, but we aren’t interested” (or words to those effect), that will sting a Hell of a lot more than Belinda Lang saying “no” at some dance all those years ago. And it wasn’t even Stairway to Heaven either. Don’t know what her problem was.
I have just returned from the bathroom where I managed to snoop around my under regions and it appears I am mature enough (I have hair on my peaches) so I must just get on with it and try.
I mean, I did send this same manuscript to a publisher in 2009. Yeah, 5 years ago. The publisher said they loved it. I flew to England to meet with them. The publishing director was 2 hours late for our meeting. He didn’t have another meeting before ours. He was just late. You know, possibly being all creative and shit. Or combing his ponytail or however men take care of such ridiculous things. He told me they had grand visions for my book. I waited for the “but”, because everything said before the “but” is kind of secondary. And then the “but” came. I would have to pay for all editing, layout, marketing, etc. The total cost to me would have been at least triple what print-on-demand publishing would have cost. Sure, they’ve market it, store it, advertise it in all the right locations, but after doing my basic math skills to figure out how many copies I’d have to sell to see a smidgeon of profit (a good deal number than the majority of first books sell), I took a copy of the contract with me and told him I would think about it. I never went through with it.
So perhaps I should start looking again. My old creative writing teacher thinks it would make an excellent movie. I agree. Maybe I should try and write it as such. After all, what do I have to lose?