In a manner of speaking.
Today on the way home from work, my fiance got on a now semi-weekly rant at me about needing to get my book out there. You know, the one that I’ve been sitting on long enough to have the first chapter embedded in my arse?
It was akin to Pooh trundling along the Hundred Acre Wood only to somehow land bum-side down in a gorse bush. In which I am Pooh, and his words are the gorse bush. They stung. Much like the embedded chapter.
To tell the truth, I have been feeling very itchy lately. Prickly about the state of my novel. A wee bit at a loss to understand how nearly three years have gone by since I finished the first draft and I’m no closer to having it on a shelf than I was upon its conclusion. I’ve made plenty of excuses. I’m moving, getting married, working weird hours, tired, hungry, ooh, shiny!!! Perhaps what I need is a gorse bush under my bum in order for me to just bloody get a move on already.
At the end of the day, after as many fits and starts as I’ve had in the last year (just read this blog to know the lot of it), the responsibility falls to me. I got a great deal of inspiration from reading Michael Larsen’s advice on the world of literary agents, and more than a bit of intimidation from the same. My end goal is not to wallpaper our study with rejection letters, nor is it to fling my manuscript to the wind and see where it lands. I want to feel like I’m putting my best foot forward with the world of publishing.
When I send out my first query letters, I want nothing more than to feel like they are honed, heat-seeking missiles destined for the hottest agents around. I want those agents to receive something that explodes into something big for them. Not explodes literally, of course, unless they reject it. (Kidding.) I want to package myself as a career writer. This is what I want to do with my life. I have a plan for publicizing my work. I have the ambition and the drive necessary to make this my life’s work. I have a voice worth committing to paper and many stories worth the telling that I believe are salable and relevant. I don’t think I can succeed, I know I can. I am committed to this path.
The uncertainty comes from wanting to always put my best foot forward. I don’t want to flail around willy-nilly and then wonder why it didn’t work. I want to be decisive and comprehensive, sure-footed and confident. That’s what will make me a successful author. I’m already a successful writer — I’ve found a story and committed it to paper. Whether or not this becomes my career depends wholly on me and where I go from here.
Back to the gorse bush. I need to stand up and start moving. I need to leave those prickles in my bum as a reminder that if I fail at this, it’s no one’s fault but mine. I may never be a multi-millionaire, but I can guarantee I’ll never make my living at this if I don’t get my momentum back.
And I’m glad someone is there to hold me accountable for it. For that, I have to thank my fiance. Though he’s never read my novels, he believes in me. When he pushed me bum-first into that gorse bush today, at first all I felt were the prickles, but now looking back, he’s absolutely right. Accountability. He’s pushing me.
If anyone stops by to read this, feel free to push my bum into the gorse bush as well. I think I need it.
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