Tuesday, September 21, 2010

If I Stare Long Enough...

Photography by BLMurch

I hate waiting on submissions. Doesn't matter if its submissions to agents or submissions to publishers, it results in the same roiling stomach and bouncy leg. Hitting refresh on my email apparently isn't somehow magically prompting the receivers of my proposal to answer.

Distraction like this only makes it harder to concentrate on writing. Especially if things aren't flowing as easily as I'd like. I just have to turn my back on the whole thing and forcefully forget what proposals are pending...its difficult, but I have wonderful powers of denial.

As a Christian, I believe that I've put my life in the hands of God, fully aware that He will do with it as He wants. Its a conscious choice on my part...a constant re-choosing. I'm type A, and we control freaks like to worry and obsess and be all frustrated. It’s hard to let the reigns go…its hard to trust.

It is my heart's desire to be a published author. I pratice, read books, work hard...and wait...

There is no guarantee for any of us that it will happen, but I feel called to write. Like it’s a part of my DNA. There has to be a reason that I am so compelled to sit for hours in front of a computer and struggle over the story I'm telling...right?

I don't have some earth-shattering message that will sell thousands of tickets to my speaking engagements.

I write fiction. Stories with people in it that aren't perfect.  They are like you and me.

They are tempermental, afraid, or generally happy and don't want to make waves. They have painful pasts or boring ones that make them feel insignificant. They have no special powers or talents.  They are everyday guys and gals that face what life throws at them and still somehow manage to do the right thing. The difficult thing.

They are who I was once, am now, or aspire one day to become.

I write because I can't help it nor do I want to. It’s tough to keep that in mind when faced with the gauntlet of roadblocks towards publication. Something that truly helps is hearing about everyone’s victories and steps forward. Because then it seems more within my realm of possible.

And I know that despite everything...I'll continue to tell stories and explore motives, and learn through my characters.

So as I turn my back on the worries of the business aspect of writing and settle in to the pleasure that the blessing of words brings to me...I ask all of you this:

How do you get through the tough times? How do you keep the waiting from driving you nuts?

Until next time...Go Write!


Shannon O'Donnell said...

You expressed the frustration we all feel so beautifully, Raquel. I am currently in waiting mode, too. I just try really hard not to think about it - sometimes, it even works a bit. LOL. There was a great post on the QueryTracker blog about this yesterday. :-)

Mary McDonald said...

Waiting is the worst. It's limbo. You can't move forward and you don't want to go back.

I hope your waiting proves fruitful!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

As the release date of my book looms closer, I'm keeping busy with promotional stuff. Fortuantely, that's not difficult to do. But despite the wait, I know that day will come and go just like that. I need to enjoy the time leading up to it as much as the moment itself!

KarenG said...

There's always blogging! I don't know what I did before that came along. Made cookies I guess.

Laura Marcella said...

Keep up your faith and know things will happen how and when they're meant to. :) Meanwhile, have your favorite snack, curl up with a good book or movie, then begin writing something new!

Anonymous said...

You will be a published author one day! For now just consider yourself like a native american storyteller published orally :)

Erin Kane Spock said...

The waiting drives me nuts. There is no closure and I have to graciously accept that -- except I'm not really very gracious about it. My husband tried to take over the getting published process so I would stop thinking about it, but instead I just get frustrated at not being involved because I can't stop thinking about it.
I'm thinking about it right now.
You are meant to be a writer. You are a writer. Publication will happen. Eventually. Someday.
Stupid waiting.

Lovy Boheme said...

Rest assured that you are a fantastic writer and your time will come eventually...says the free spirit to the type A. :P

Hart Johnson said...

I think you are right on with your powers of denial. TRY to forget. I can't really WRITE when I am in that state, but I have plenty of EDITING that needs doing. And short stories don't seem to be stoppered quite as badly... maybe try a few of those...

Elena Solodow said...

When you're waiting - write more. Writing got you into this, it'll get you out. Either way, you have a passion to write and that's the most important thing.

Raquel Byrnes said...

You are all so encouraging and wise. =) You are right, I should just write...okay, now I sound like Dr. Seuss.

Thanks for sharing your experiences...makes me feel less crazy!

Roland D. Yeomans said...

We all wait in the dark when we submit queries or novels. I believe God would not give us a dream that was not meant to better us.

We may never become published. But our tales will serve a purpose or God would not have given them to us or the talent to tell them.

Focus on new tales, new sites to submit to. The farmer does not plant a seed and then stand there waiting for it to sprout.

No, he goes to another field, plants more seeds, fertilizes his crops in progress, and sets to make his farm succeed. That's what we have to do.

May all your publishing dreams come true, Raquel.

Cheryl Linn Martin said...

Oh, yes, Raquel!! It is definitely difficult. I, too, am in the waiting game and hoping so hard that God has it in His plan to have me published. But, like you, I will continue on this path until I know He is pulling me a different direction. God bless!!!