I'm learning a hard lesson right now -- but one that is not wholly unexpected: Writing isn't the hard part when it comes to getting a manuscript published.
Quite the contrary.
You see, I spent about six months writing my debut work, a awesome fictional novel whose premise I'm not about to divulge online (because it'll get published one day...).
I delighted in the 'brain bursts' that led to multiple pages and witty dialogue, and I wallowed in the problems I simply couldn't solve. I planned my twists and discovered my main villain at about the same time I'd expect a very sharp reader to. To me, my characters became real -- their story more a personal memory of mine that made-up wanderings.
It was intensely fun and self-revealing -- and much easier than I expected it would be, considering all the work that went in to it in retrospect.
You see, I'm not only a novelist -- I'm also a mom of two very young boys, a wife of an exceptional man (and drill-sargent critic) and a full-time employee for leading out-of-home media company Captivate Network. I cook dinner every night, work out three times a week, and participate in leisure activities that include but are not limited to Facebook posts, weekends and nights playing Dungeons and Dragons with my husband and friends, weekly Rock Band 2 parties and, of course, my monthly facials and Friday night knitting group.
It's a lot to take on, but, as Tim Gunn would say, I make it work. I am a trained and naturally gifted writer -- come on, we all have something we're good at, and it's OK to be confident in your attributes. Some would say I border on cocky, but that's debatable.
But... the 'getting published' part. Well, that just has me a little apathetic at the moment, to be honest.
My novel, while very well written and based on a strong story, has garnered more interest than I logically had the right to expect and/or deserve. I am, literarily speaking, a nobody from nowhere who one day decided she was going to write a book.
But, that's not where the story goes bad -- I've actually had quite a bit of intense interest in my novel. It's just that, in the given market, no one is willing to commit to something they aren't wholeheartedly passionate about. Unlike like 99% of writers whose first books go unnoticed by agents and have to resubmit numerous drafts, I've been contacted by *four* separate agencies about possible representation. That's truly amazing and an incredible compliment.
It's just that three out of the four have now declined. After requesting the whole document, I was really thinking the last agent was going to be the one -- because, after all, it only takes one.
That may become my new mantra: It only takes one -- one agent to like it, one agent to sell it and one publisher to buy it.
It's time to keep writing my second novel and, while awaiting word from the last pending agency, keep moving forward.