Today I made a bold move. A move that left me with a heavy, sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.
I clicked print.
I should probably explain.
I’ll go back about a month. You may remember in my last post I explained how I was once again revising my manuscript, “Engraved.” When I submitted the revised version to my literary agent, Cheryl, she wasn’t sure she liked this version as much as the previous one. Her exact words were that, “she didn’t feel as emotionally invested in it this time.” Unsure of what to do I allowed a good friend of mine, Jeanette Bradley, to read the second and third version of the manuscript and tell me which one she liked better. She returned with almost the exact same critique as Cheryl. This sealed the deal for me. Obviously the unique formatting did work in this particular story.
So, Cheryl and I decided to shop the previous version. Cheryl told me to re-read the manuscript checking for typos or grammatical errors we hadn’t caught before and then asked me to send her three copies of the manuscript (she will shop it to three publishing companies initially) along with cover pages and the synopsis. Oops – that’s when she realized she’d never seen the synopsis before. She needed to edit that so I sent it on to her. Meanwhile, I worked on polishing the manuscript, making it as perfect as humanly possible.
Satisfied with it, I finally decided to bite the bullet and print it.
So I did. I clicked print.
With every page the printer spit out the knot in my stomach tightened. By the time the last page was dispensed I felt like I was gonna puke. I’ve scanned over most of the pages now and it all looks good. The formatting looks nice, no typos or errors. But I can’t shake this sick feeling.
I know it seems silly that I would still feel anxious about submitting my work after all this time; after hundreds of submissions and rejections. But the fact is that this time is entirely different for a couple of reasons.
1. This will be my first agented submission. Many times I’ve submitted on my own – an unknown, unagented author. In the past I’ve pictured an intern on her first day thumbing through my manuscript while checking her watch and counting down the minutes until lunch. This time I know a real editor will read my manuscript and will give a real critique to my agent.
2. This isn’t any manuscript. I’ve tossed aside three manuscripts before this one without a second thought, but I wasn’t emotionally invested in them like I am with this one. If you’ve followed my blog you know what this novel means to me. I’ve put my heart and soul into this book. It isn’t just a novel – it’s my novel. It’s my story, my testimony. It’s a love story written to a God who restored my life. I want to be published so bad. It’s been my dream since I was my daughter’s age (something I can hardly believe when I look into her sweet baby face). But with this novel it’s personal. It’s more about the story than my lifelong dream. Let me tell you, it’s a scary feeling to send this book out into the publishing world.
Thankfully, I trust Cheryl and more importantly I trust God. I know this book will end up right where it’s supposed to.
Is it wrong of me to hope that’s the bestseller’s list?