Stepping Off a Cliff

Dear Readers:

I sent my manuscript out to my beta readers via snail mail on January 6th, 2012. I now realize I have spent five years working on one story. When I read about authors who churn out two, maybe three, novels per year or who have written books numbering in the hundreds, I wonder how do they do it? How could that many unique plots swirl in someone’s brain, waiting to flow through the fingertips onto the page? Speaking for myself, I was exhausted from the last minute dash looking for typos and inconsistencies, and composing pertinent questions for my readers to answer. And then I had to leave my bound pages at the UPS Store, entrusting this commercial vendor with the printed outcome of multiple classes, writing exercises, hours of musing on how to make my characters come alive on the page. And these envelopes were also stuffed with my debut writing ego. Walking away, I felt like I was abandoning my babies to the big, bad world. Now I wait and that could be the most difficult part of the journey. Did I give my readers too much time? Too little time? Too many questions? Too few? Too complicated? Too simple? I have kept busy catching up on reading, writing drafts of my query synopses and letters to agents, and checking the daily mail for any bulky envelopes stuffed with my pages. But I know my readers all have other things to focus on – little things – like their fulltime jobs or their doctor appointments or a house full of relatives overstaying their welcome. So I must content myself to cross off the days until my deadline draws near, waiting, wondering, hoping my readers will be brutally honest in their criticisms while fearing they will be brutally honest in their criticisms. Would it burst my creative bubble? Seasoned writers say “Prepare yourself for rejection and dejection.” The plot thickens.

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