I’m a bit numb. You’d think after a few days, this feeling would wear off – but no. I’m still having trouble sleeping because I can’t turn my brain off.
Last week Thursday, I went into my gmail, like I do a couple times a week. Only this time, there was an email from a publisher saying they would like to offer me a contract for All Falling Things if I am still interested. This is the publisher from #DVPit. They’ve had the manuscript for ten weeks without any other communication, so I had figured it was over. But nope – there they were, in my email.
I did what any hopeful author would do: I freaked out internally so as not to frighten the cats. I asked my BFF/Writing Buddy to FaceTime and help me sort out my feelings. He calmed me down. (Thank you, Jack.) Still, I did not sleep well that night, which wasn’t great since I was on nephew duty the next morning.
I did email the publisher to say that I would be interested in viewing a contract. Couldn’t hurt to look, right?
Then I did what any hopeful author would do: I obsessively checked my email, even over the weekend when I knew they wouldn’t likely be working. And last night, the contract showed up. And I read over it. And Jack calmed me down. And Cody calmed me down again. And I didn’t sleep well. (Do you see a pattern?)
I remember sitting in so many sessions through AWP and UntitledTown, listening to authors talk about how they landed their publishing contracts – which usually involved a path that one could not follow. Chance seemed to play a big part in all of it. I think that is why this process can feel so isolating. I mean, here I am sitting at my kitchen table reading a contract, and I have no idea what to say to my sister when she asks me if it is “good”. I don’t have an agent* to fight on my behalf – an agent far more well-versed in all this than I am. Someone who can tell me if it’s “good” or if I’m getting screwed. But no, it’s just me and a large cup of coffee I probably don’t need to be drinking. I can’t sleep as it is.
I remember being so frustrated during all those sessions – like, how am I supposed to get my book to print if there isn’t a path to follow, if it’s all chance and luck? This doesn’t help me at all.
Yet here I am, contract in hand, and it was all by chance. And because it’s all chance, I have no idea if this is good for me or not.
The publisher’s editor in chief did offer to answer any questions, so this morning I wrote out my thoughts, had Jack read it over, and then sent it. And now I wait. Again. During which I will probably obsessively check my email and fail to sleep.
*On the same day that I received this contract, I also received a rejection from an agent who had, thus far, the most crushing rejection letter to date – telling me that perhaps someone else might see possibilities in my book, but she just didn’t. So, you know, there’s balance.