What Cannot Be Controlled

Still life of the unpubbed life.

Still life of the unpubbed life.

Is there a 12 step meeting for queriers?  Except I’m not really querying now, just waiting for responses on requested material.

Every afternoon, when it’s 6PM and I don’t have any responses in my inbox, I think, “Tonight after Art Child goes to bed I’m going to have a drink, so I will relax and remember only that it’s out of my control at this point.”  I even bought lemonade to go with the gin. Instead, by the time I would do this, I walk the beasts, have my 8000th cup of coffee or tea and go to sleep.  Art Child and Nerd Child have enjoyed the virgin lemonade.

The other day a comment was made by someone on the writers’ forum, to the effect of if the manuscript is good enough and the query letter is good enough, you only need one agent to request…if that agent rejects, the manuscript isn’t good enough.  The type of comment that always makes me freaking nuts. a) It reeks of sanctimonious superiority, and b) it isn’t true.  There are many reasons why a manuscript can be rejected, and not all of them have to do with the writing/story. I didn’t respond to the post, because I know I’m feeling overly sensitive right now as I wait for replies, and didn’t trust myself to do more than splutter.

I was thinking about this yesterday, when I walked past a local church and saw several people waiting to go in the side door.  I assumed for a 12 step meeting, but it could have been Bingo. Or something.  Anyway, it had me thinking about the whole Let Go and Let God approach to what’s out of our control.

Step 12.  Oh 12.  That’s the spiritual awakening.  What is the equivalent of the spiritual awakening here?  It could be an offer of rep, but it could also be the acceptance of when it’s time to trunk the manuscript and move on.  Maybe it’s the (to me) mythical ideal of writing only for oneself, being satisfied with or without validation. Damn. I’m gonna be asleep forever.  Spiritual coma?

To decide to write a book, to do so, to tell people you’re doing it…all of this requires not just a leap of faith but big brass ones.  To query, well, that means polishing them up to put them on display.  But then once the work is out, humility.

For the moment, I will contemplate cleaning the bathroom, and decide what to cook with the goodies I bought at the farmer’s market this morning.  And blast the iPod.  Nerd Child always has interesting new (to me) music.

 

11 comments

  1. CALLE 13!!!! LOVE THAT BAND. the style…the messages…ohehmgee :l such bs.
    Manuscripts one might deem amazing get rejected by some because it isn’t their style, they didn’t connect, or for other reasons. And yes, step 12 for each person is different. IDK what mine will be…

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    1. So glad you know and like Calle 13! Pretty awesome, are they not–and a song about resilience made sense with this post. 🙂

      Here’s hoping step 12 is a positive one–for all of us! ❤

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  2. Those folks love their Bingo!

    There are many forum comments (and on many forums) that I just…..step away from. I just can’t engage sometimes, because I have a terribly strong gut feeling but no real backup about whatever somebody’s spouting. I guess that’s the thing about sanctimony.

    Also, my boss and I were talking yesterday about how it’s so hard to put yourself out there. I’ve been subbing short stories for fifteen years at this point, no acceptances. Looking at some of those early stories, I can see why. Current ones? Still no idea. But yeah. Out of my hands. Novel querying, well, I haven’t properly begun that yet. I might need myself some gin and lemonade.

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    1. Yes, that’s the thing with forums, sometimes you have to know when to step away. Sometimes because it’s the sensible thing to do, and sometimes because it’s the healthiest (mental health) choice. 🙂

      It is hard to put yourself out there, I find it even harder to shift gears from that ballsy I’m doing it to well, what will be, will be. 😀

      I’ll keep a glass chilled for when you begin querying. ❤

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  3. Mrs Fringe, right here:

    To decide to write a book, to do so, to tell people you’re doing it…all of this requires not just a leap of faith but big brass ones. To query, well, that means polishing them up to put them on display. But then once the work is out, humility.

    No wonder we feel discombobulated so often. We run the gamut: full tilt to screeching halt. I don’t know what’s worse: querying or waiting after. I’m waiting, as you are. But sending out queries, too. Sometimes I’m hopeful and sometimes I feel like I’m feeding a black hole, and one of these days I’m gonna get sucked in there.

    Not today. Hopefully. 🙂

    xo kk

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