To Wait, and wait again

17 Apr

So, I’ve finally got to the wonderful stage of the novel being totally finished and sent off to a couple of competitions and a handful of agents, and now the waiting time. A lot of agents use the ‘no news is bad news rule’ which basically means that if you don’t hear from them within a certain time, the answer is no. Now the whole point of being a writer is that you’re allowed (?) to sit and make things up, so you send off your manuscript, either with a little bye bye as you hit the Send button, or a surreptitious kiss in the Post Office queue (you’ve certainly got time), and then what? Do you imagine your book being eager read, and now waiting for a harassed assistant to get in touch asking for the complete manuscript; or is it still sitting in a huge pile of ‘to be reads’; or worse yet, has it been read and already consigned to the recycling (surely not!). So I wait.

But since I’m trying to make a go of this little thing called writing, I’ve not stopped – unless you count my one week holiday in sunny Millport. Just as I finished my edit, a deadline for the Eileen Gilmour Writing Competition came up (which I won in 2009). While I had had the theme of ‘Freedom’ kicking about in my head, and scribbled in every notebook I own, I wasn’t feeling very inspired. But being a writer is about producing work even when you don’t feel inspired, and in fact, after the perspiration, the inspiration quite often follows. So a short story has been written, reminding me that I’ve not just got one story in my head (although it has felt like that for the last 18 months), and has been entered, giving me something else to wait to hear about.

Right, what’s next?

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