“Waiting for the fish to bite
Or waiting for wind to fly a kite
Or waiting around for Friday night
Or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
Or a pot to boil or a Better Break
Or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
Or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.”
It’s been said before, but I’ll say it again… the pursuit of publishing is not for the faint of heart! The rejections will knock the wind out of your sails, sure, but by far the most challenging ‘nearly-make-you-lose-your-mind’ part is all… the… waiting. To be fair I don’t even know about the kind of waiting that comes when a book is ACTUALLY being published, which is a whole other breed of monster I’m sure (which I imagine feels a lot like a 24month pregnancy.) I’m only talking about the waiting that comes after you finally hit ‘send.’
I’ve been doing my research, right? I believe I have ‘enough’ picture book manuscripts that are ‘ready’. (Though who ever really knows how much is ‘enough’ and when something is really ‘ready’?) I also have been paying close attention and have had an opportunity to submit a couple of those manuscripts to editors that are looking for something similar to what I have to offer. So, I feel better about my chances than I have in a while. (I’m also having a déjà vu.) Taking it one step further, I had an exciting local opportunity that presented itself but was not without its own waiting game. Here I am, twiddling my thumbs, checking my inbox 157 times a day, each time simultaneously bracing for a rejection and hoping for a ‘revise and resubmit’ or maybe even a “Hey, I like this. Let’s talk!” It’s enough to drive a girl crazy, I tell ya! Thankfully, I remembered the wise words of Dr. Seuss,
That’s not for you!
Somehow you’ll escape
all that waiting and staying.
You’ll find the bring places
where Boom Bands are playing.”
The short version of a long story? I didn’t find ‘boom bands’ but I did find a paintbrush. Here’s what I’m working on…
Both the piggy bank and the heart are symbols of some of my favorite works- in-progress. With the help of a few good songs, leftover craft paint and a quiet weekend afternoon, I channeled all of my ‘waiting’ anxieties into these projects. It didn’t completely erase the bouts of impatience, but I’m checking my email a lot less, and I reset my focus. For one I got my BIC and wrote this long overdue, post. (Am I right, Ali?) I often forget, and eventually remember that creativity, away from my laptop is the best salve for an anxious itch. If you find yourself in a similar restless place, for whatever reason, try channeling those energies in a totally different direction! You might not find an answer, but I can almost promise you’ll have fun.
Want some good news? I have another great Paper People Interview coming your way. Next week, Randi Mrvos will join me again. The last time we talked her debut picture book was releasing and she’ll be joining me to talk about all that she’s learned in the past year. If you want a refresher, check out my first interview and review of her delightful book MAGGIE AND THE SUMMER VACATION SHOW AND TELL.
Ps- I’m 1 for 3 on good news replies. Eeek!
(Oh, and in case you didn’t know Dr. Seuss quotes are found in OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!)
Thanks for reading, come back anytime!