Saturday, March 9, 2013

Do You Have the Patience to be an Author?

Becoming an author is not for the weak. It requires a lot of patience, which by the way, I lack. When an author finishes their novel, completes re-writes and editing, they then send a query or cover letter to agents or editors that summarizes the premise of the story in two paragraphs. Then you wait, wait, and wait. Either you get a rejection that sounds like this “…these decisions are highly subjective and another agent or editor may have a completely different opinion from mine. I strongly encourage you to keep submitting elsewhere…”

This is where my sarcasm takes over. Dear editor, just say it, “…Don’t quit your day job!” Highly subjective… you think I suck! Keep submitting elsewhere…you hope I get busy sending out submissions so that I don’t bother you again. As human beings, sometimes we are hardest on ourselves when we should be giving ourselves the encouragement and pep talk we would give a friend if they had a bad day on the job.

Or perhaps, my query letter captures the interest of the agent or editor and the first three chapters are requested. I usually jump up and down, do a cartwheel, and pull a hamstring. I limp to the computer, sit down, and re-read the first three chapters twenty times before I press send. Then I take a deep breath, perhaps a break, and plan to start on something new, but I can’t concentrate. I’m too busy checking my e-mail a million times. You know, just in case a request for the full manuscript is in my inbox. After a few days I settle in and wait, wait, and wait.

Like I said, being an author isn’t for the weak. Endless hours of writing and editing, and if an author is submitting work, there will be rejection. So, we have to lick our wounds and send it out again. Finally an offer to publish! Is it worth the hard work and hurt feelings? Yes! Is the life of a writer worth the investment in time? When you see your name on the cover, yeah, it’s worth it. Having someone tell you they laughed, they cried, they could relate to a character, or that your creepy description gave them goose bumps is thrilling. Just getting those characters down on paper and out of your head so you can sleep is a relief.

The body count mounts as Detective Leslie Bolt must conquer her own past, and race to capture “The State Quarter Killer” before her sister is the next victim.