Yesterday I emailed a certain gentleman. This person is an editor. His company publishes books. He’s had my ms for a while and I knew it was time to ask the questions, so I did–asking if he’d yet read my work and whether my manuscript was under consideration.
Oh lord. As soon as I hit ‘send’, doubt washed over me. I asked and he will likely answer and then. . .
Anything is possible. But the chance of this person loving my little novel–my gritty little novel with a heart–loving it as I do, taking it under his wing and nurturing the thing, doing what editors do so well, that magical alchemy that transforms a manuscript into something with heft and substance and value. . .
What are the chances? Time and money are on the line and CHERRY is a chancy novel. I took liberties with convention and style. The ending is nebulous. My main character is unreliable and not very likeable. Is this editor willing to take a chance anyway?
I did. I had to. That’s what we writers do: write our stories despite that thick black wall of doubt looming behind us, relentlessly pressing in. Or maybe it’s pushing us forward. Maybe doubt is the thing that separates us from those who give up before they’re finished, before they even start. We dare peek behind us and see that wall, knowing full well the choice is ours to make. Give up, or move forward. Take that chance. Trust ourselves, our processes, our characters, our stories. Trust the agents and publishers, readers and reviewers. Write our little novels and send them forth on a wing and prayer. Dare to dream, take the risks and ask the questions:
Did you read it? Do you love my little novel, mister?