My Self-Publishing Adventure: Day Circling Limbo

In my last blog, I told you about the amazing SCBWI conference I attended last weekend, culminating in every unpublished writer’s dream: a manuscript request by an editor. I was all EEE then and, don’t get me wrong, I’m still all EEE now.

Off and on anyway.

See, there’s this annoying thing that writers have to do all the time, in every aspect of our careers, forever — even Stephen King and J.K. Rowling have to do it and always will. Always. It’s not something most people are used to in these times of instant everything, and in certain circumstances it can start to feel like Dante’s First Circle of Hell: it’s called waiting.

I’m in the First Circle of Hell right now.

Dante's First CircleThat’s me in the center.

For those not versed in Mr. Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, there are nine Circles of Hell that he describes for different kinds of sinners. Only the First Circle doesn’t house sinners, as such, but rather those who have rejected Christianity in some form or another. Otherwise they’re mostly good, wise people. Whatever. Their “sin” isn’t really my point, but rather the mode of punishment they receive. Forever limbo in a place that’s OK, but nowhere near as amazing as they could have had if they’d made a different choice in life.

Aaaaand… my fellow writers just saw my parallel. Many of you might even be able to empathize. I’m sorry.

I’m really REALLY OK for the most part, working on my second “Guts and Glory” book and excited to have the first one in the hands of an actual editor who actually wants to read it. But then there’s these underlying regrets and fears that make me feel like I’m not quite in heaven yet. Regret that I didn’t fix this scene enough or work on that scene more, and fear that any one of those regrets will result in rejection. Again. These negative emotions are happening parallel to my positive ones of excitement and hope. My stomach will never be the same.

Oh well, at least I’ll be safe from the Third Circle of Hell anyway.

Of course, as soon as I hear back from her, no matter what her answer is, I’ll start waiting all over again. Either for another query answer (ugh…) or, if God smiles down upon me and angels sing a blessed “yes”, for the notes to my first professional edit… then more editing… then more waiting…

I better bed down in the First Circle. I’ll be here for a while. After all, we writers really are the virtuous heathens, aren’t we?

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2 Responses to “My Self-Publishing Adventure: Day Circling Limbo”

  1. You are soooo much braver than I would be. Congrats on the request! As a fellow writer the significance of that isn’t wasted on me.

  2. Thank you. 🙂 A full request from a New York editor… it’s pretty sweet!

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