February was a crazy month. Yep, my first writers' conference, my first experience of pitching to agents. Since the beginning of January, I worked hard on getting the WIP (Restoring Experience) into the best shape I could in order to pitch it at the conference. I read articles and books on writing, pitching, and querying that I should have read months ago. It felt like cramming for SATs. Then, at the conference, a brilliant editor (Alan Rinzler) asked me to send him my book, so for a solid week I did nothing but revise, revise, revise (yes, again) to get the MS ready for him.
I sent it out two days ago, Sunday.
And I feel liberated.
Perhaps "liberated" isn't the word you would've used. And yes--every time the ding of new mail sounds, my heart gives a jolt of 6.0 on the Richter scale. That's Alan, I think. He read the first page and hated it, knows it's beyond saving, he's seen it for the useless piece of crap it is. When I see it's not Alan but instead a chirpy marketing email full of HTML and jarring colors I think, he probably doesn't know how to tell me how bad it is. I'll never hear from him again. Then another ding (yes, I get a LOT of chirpy marketing emails) and it starts all over again.
Doesn't sound very liberating, does it?
But it is. For better or for worse, I've let go. The manuscript is now in the hands of a professional who will evaluate it and assess it, and tell me honestly whether I've wasted ten months of my life or not. With that feedback (and that bit about not hearing from him is just pure Mexican insecurity at its best--Alan is nothing if not a gentleman, and an honest one to boot. When he gives me feedback, I'm pretty sure he won't pull any punches. I hope) the second- and third-guessing myself will finally be over--is Restoring Experience good enough, or isn't it?
And by good enough I don't mean it's ready to publish--not by a long shot. But is it good enough to work on? Every book, even the fiftieth novel by whoever your favorite author is, needs an editor. I believe that. So Restoring Experience, being my Novel Zero (yeah, I'm not even counting it as my First Novel yet), will need lots and lots of TLC--a godparent, so to speak. If Alan likes it enough to want to work with me on it, I'll be flattered (and encouraged) beyond belief.
Bottom line, I've got some free time. To blog, yes. To catch up with critiques in my writing group. To catch up, too, with household chores. We built a new perimeter wall last November, which needs painting. My closet is overflowing with stuff that needs either new space or a new home. The garden has been patient, but my neglect is beginning to get to it. I also want to read--brought back eight kilos of books from San Francisco (future post on that, I promise).
So I'll blog. I'll try to catch up with my writing group and chores around the house. I'll spend some quality time with my dogs and cat, and with the sofa and one of the many good books I bought. And I'll wait for Alan to get back to me.