I’m not done.
This is what I have been fighting: the feeling that I’m done. I mean, I wrote the damn thing, I edited it, I gave it to readers for feedback, I changed, re-wrote, and polished it, I let it sit for a couple of weeks and then re-read and re-edited it.
I’m done right? This is the part where I can relax and start something new, right?
Actually not really. I’ve got to send query letters to agents. If I want to get a fair shot at finding a agent that will represent me, I have to research a little, have to go to the website, find what they are looking for, make sure they are even accepting queries, make sure they don’t specialize in anything my book isn’t. Hopefully I find someone that says in their bio something I like, or something that leads me to believe that they might take a chance on an unproven and unknown writer that has just sent an email query.
And the worst is, I have to wait (unless I get rejected in record time). I have to send out a couple more letters, wait some more. I don’t want to flood the entire industry with queries; I’m not looking for just anyone, I’m looking for the right someone.
And all this means that I am filling my very limited time with all this stuff, the researching and sending, and the tracking, and I’m still not writing anything new. I work a full-time job. I value time with my family. I also, somewhere in there, need to sleep occasionally, need to play my guitar, and kiss my wife, and take out the garbage, and feed the dog, and remember, we’re going over to the in-laws because someone is doing something that we need to witness, and the neighbor needs help moving a refrigerator, and really, sometimes I just need to unplug, walk away from the computer, check out, watch a movie or play a game.
I have outlines for three new novels.
I have two children’s books that need illustrated and polished
I have a beautiful idea for a series of short novels for older children.
And I’m spending my time sending letters to agents and clicking around on agency websites.
Again, I know this is part of it, but it feels like busy work, administrative nonsense, like I’m spinning my wheels when there is real stuff that needs done. Even without writing, I would consider myself a relatively busy man, even without trying to shoehorn this into my life, trying to find room where there really is none, I would have a pretty full dance card. The work that I’m doing now isn’t the work that I want to be doing, the good stuff where you can get lost in your world, and you hit that sweet spot where you forget that time is passing and the words pour out they way they were meant to.
Ideally, I would be doing this for a job, quit the 9-5, drop the hour of driving, put on my headphones in the morning and not come up for air again until lunch. But I have bills to pay and mouths to feed, and as much as I want this, I am not willing to sacrifice everything, not willing to miss the life I have while I search for a way in to the life I daydream about. This comes first, this phase, where writing is what I do when I’m not doing other things, instead of the other way around.
But it’s hard sometimes. Damn hard.