Old Moon

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Hurry up and wait

I see now (you can tell I'm a slow study) that about 50% of the angst of trying to get read is learning how to wait. Wait for the right moment to make up your mind that you've found all the bugs and the piece is ready; wait to find someone who might not savage it or go to sleep if you let them read it; wait to find out if your query has struck a chord; wait to see the result if you've sold it; wait to see whether anyone wants to read it after all; and wait to find out how readers like or hate it.
This is a lesson best learned while in one's first two decades of life. For me, it's proving to be a special kind of torture as I look forward to beginning the eighth. And that leads to a comment on the second lesson, which is that no one but the writer gives a tinker's dam about any of that. Call me a cynic if you like, but to expect anything other than the bottom line to matter to those a writer has to depend on is sheer futility. It makes me yearn for the good old days, when a Wallace Stegner could actually pay the rent by submitting to The Atlantic.
Since misery is so fond of company, I keep hoping someone else in my shoes might respond to some of these comments, just to prove that networking (a) exists, and (b) does work.

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