Thursday, October 1, 2009

I want a new drug

It's been about 4 months since I've started querying agents in a serious kind of way, and imagine my surprise when I discovered that being a writer is actually a form of addiction. Not in the usual "I must write in order to express myself or I'm going to die" kind of way.

That's not how I roll.*

I enjoy writing; it's a fun challenge that's helped me learn and grow, and I get a great deal of satisfaction out of weaving the silken threads of plots and sub-plots, and bending words to my will (uh, mostly) but the whole "If I don't write I shall explode, leaving a mom-shaped splat of slimy goo on the wall", meh, not so much.

We've all heard of those kinds of people (right?). The ones who weep, wail and gnash their teeth at having to live in the real world. The world on paper, with characters they wish existed in real life, is more appealing than whatever they've got going on. They reserve domain names for the book they're querying, create blogs with their characters, role play with their name it, they've done it!

Don't be offended if you're one of those spirited, imaginative people. There are as many roads to publication as there are writers, and I bring that stuff up only because I can't relate to that kind of passionate dedication. Not for the work itself, anyway. Obviously, I'm driven enough by my characters to write about their experiences, and I love to get that story pulled together in the hopes of providing a few hours of escapist entertainment for future fans (um, just go with it okay?) , but my feet are firmly planted in reality.

The real passion for me, I've discovered, is when it's time to send the characters into the Agentverse. There is a high that comes from fully completing a manuscript, followed by an extra surge when you come up with the perfect query letter. There's an even bigger high when you open that email from an agent and you read PLEASE SEND ME MORE. And I look forward with anticipation to opening the penultimate*** agent email that precedes a phone call and offer of representation.

This is what gets me through the little slumps between responses. I know I'm going to get that next fix. I have very few vices - no coffee, alcohol, smoking. Nor am I a thrillseeker. I'm a small town kind of gal living a peaceable life with my husband, five kids, and a black cat named Susie-Q. BUT...

I get the shakes when I go to open my email, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm addicted to the rush****. I'm on the verge of an influx of replies on several full submissions as well as to a new batch of queries I sent out a while ago, and Oh! the anticipation!

In conclusion, if you're looking for something that might give you a buzz, may I suggest writing a book and trying to get it published? Hurry though, it's only a matter of time before the FDA finds out and tries to regulate the publishing industry.


*Sorry, I've been watching too much Kim Possible again.
**Which begs the question: what is a non-melodramatic, pragmatic person like me doing writing fiction?? Ah, another post for another time, perhaps...
***I love that word.
****Unless you think I ought to be. Then I'm very, very ashamed. Bad writer. Baaaaad adrenaline junkie writer.


Terresa said...

Great post! I can feel the buzz in your words!!

I've been going over some ideas for query letters in my head but need to **finish my WIP** first. First things first! I can't wait to tackle that, though, and feel that thrill, too.

Schmutzie said...

This is the path that I intend to head down eventually, and I'm glad to hear that there can be highs attached to submission rather than only capital-F Fear.

Fiauna said...

Ten months of querying and I'm moving on--to another WIP, that is. I have to admit, the rejection finally got to me, but I'm not giving up completely.

Chantelle Slocombe said...

Tracy, you are sooo talented with words!!haha. Where are you living now? Your kiddo's must be huge;)

Have a great day... I'll check back again soon!