Friday, March 25, 2011

A Little Cotton Candy for the Soul

These last two nights I could have been the poster child for that common, yet rarely talked about affliction called "new author syndrome," an almost painful condition that affects most authors at one time or another in their career. The symptoms range in severity, but are always the same. You may recognize some of these symptoms in yourself: incessant checking of e-mails, stalking writer's sites like Publishers Marketplace and AbsoluteWrite, and for the worst of the worst–daydreaming away the hours while that mountain of laundry grows bigger than Mount Sinai in the corner.

I never really fully understood the agony nor the angst that my published author friends would try to explain. Only now, as a writer on the brink of getting published, do I finally get what they were saying. Now I understand just how easy it is for a writer to fall into the trap of obsessing over that "first" novel.

After all, you've carried this bundle of work with you for many long months, sometimes years and then, like an expectant mother about to give birth, finally comes the big moment you've been waiting for–your "Book" is about to be born! You push and strain until, finally, out pops your beloved little novel–all pink, wrinkled and ugly, but (you give a big sigh) all ten toes are seemingly intact. You then set about the arduous task of investing the long hard hours it will take to polish your little darling into something really, really great. And then, just when you dare hope it might sprout wings and fly, in walks the perfect publisher who sweeps your novel right off its feet! It's every mother's...errr, I mean writer's dream. And it's the way things ought to be. It should be easy, right? Don't get me wrong. It's every bit wonderful, but easy? Never.

Be it for love, a book deal, a waiting child–let's hope not a kidney–the waiting is never easy. But, we all must do it. My best advice? Try to stay busy, live in the moment and enjoy the journey, and should the waiting get tough–a little cotton candy for the soul never hurts!


Deb said...

I self-published with totally different goals than those I now have, two short months later. I've just gotten everything professionally edited and copy edited, and I'm going through exactly the steps you described here. My brain and eyes are always turned toward the upper right-hand corner of my phone's screen, which is where I usually first learn of communication. It's driving me nuts. As you said, though, keeping busy with other things--or people, such as my beautiful little boy!--does help relieve some of the crazy. :p

Positively Orphaned said...

Sounds a lot like waiting to get to the end of the adoption process. Not Easy. Staying in the moment - great advice. Looking forward to the news about your novel :)

Author and HIV/AIDS Advocate--S.Meredith said...

Thanks Deb, Lots of writers out there going through the same thing. At least we're not alone, huh? Wishing you good things with that book of yours. : )

Author and HIV/AIDS Advocate--S.Meredith said...

Great analogy, Positively...and come to think of it, it sure is like the waiting I went through waiting for Yonas to come home. I'll never forget all that paper work, either...and the worry. God Bless all you're doing!