I’ve had a million pound book deal, a best-seller in fifty countries, three-hour book signing session in China, TV interviews, attended the Disney film premier at Cineworld and had an offer from Richard Branson to go into space.
Ok, so that’s enough about the Dream World of Andy, what about reality?
No news is…well, no news
Yeah, I know. That was a cheap shot that got you all excited for a second before thinking I was a huge liar the next then realising it was a stupid blog hook to keep you reading. Well, you’re here now so it must have worked…
Three weeks after my first submissions to agents and how am I really doing? As you may guess from the subtitle of this entry, I’ve heard nothing so far. So am I a nervous wreck yet? Not really, as they all said they would reply between 6-8 weeks and so my expectations have been set. But it doesn’t stop me swinging from dreaming to despairing…
Manuscripts are read, violets are blue
It’s a strange feeling right now. On one hand, you feel completely helpless – your pride and joy is probably sitting somewhere on a desk or in an email queue waiting to be read and you have no idea when or even if you’ll receive any kind of feedback. On the other, it’s a feeling of freedom, of achievement – you’ve done all you can and there’s nothing left for you to do. The submission process consumed me for weeks and now it’s all over.
It’s a bit like preparing what is the best love letter you think you can write to the girl of your dreams, posting it and then waiting to hear her feedback. Only you’ve fallen in love with multiple girls and have written to them all. Will any of them write back asking you for a date or will they all give you such a riposte that you end up with your heart crushed into a million pieces, falling into a void of hopelessness?
As for dreaming – that’s what I do. When I was younger, every night my bed was a spaceship, and I roamed the galaxy on secret missions. But enough about my thirties. Nowadays I mainly dream about football – that winning cup final goal, a hat-trick debut, that backwards header against Utd. Oh hang on – that last one was Daniel Sturridge…
I don’t care if every single one of those other footy and book dreams are unrealistic and have about as much chance of happening as Wayne Rooney playing the lead in the remake of Scarface. Right now I can dream, because until I hear otherwise, the dream is still alive.
It’s not me, it’s you
The other main feeling I have is probably also a natural one for a writer – the feeling that every word you’ve submitted is utter crap. What was I thinking? The novel is a waste of space, a mere folly. A million miles from being something anyone with half a brain would consider publishing. No-one will even get past the cover letter. Destined to failure. Right now, someone could be opening my submission package and transferring it to the dustbin without even a second breath.
Yes Andy – each girl is currently laughing at your love letter and ringing her friends to tell them just how lame you are.
These thoughts genuinely come at me on occasions of reflection and will no doubt continue until the book is accepted somewhere. It’s not so much self-doubt or a lack of confidence – from what I know, it’s just the life of a writer. Before you’ve submitted, every doubt is something you can fix. You still have time to polish. Don’t worry, I’ll improve it later. Once it’s gone though, that’s it. I just have to ride these waves of uncertainty with my board of belief.
One thing that does make me happy is being able to give a positive response when I’m asked how my book is going. ‘I’m waiting to hear back from agents‘ is so much better than ‘I’m still editing it. Yes, still. Almost there. Just a few tweaks then maybe it’s good to go.‘ It actually sounds like it might happen, and also gets people that bit more excited.
So that’s it for now. I could do another blog next week describing exactly the same thoughts, but I won’t. When I hear some news, you will too, and no doubt my thoughts on the matter…whether I get slapped in the face, kneed in the nuts or invited back for coffee.