If you go to a reading or a festival you see writers on stage looking so confident. They get asked questions like what’s changed since you’ve published. They answer that they write faster, that they think of themselves as a professional. They get asked how they found an agent and they talk about queries and rejection. Rarely do you hear an author talk about the inexplicable joy of holding their creation in their hand.
Damien Walters Grintalis is the author of Dreams of Ink. I haven’t read this book (and since he defines it as horror I probably won’t since I don’t like being scared) but I love his blog post about how he felt when he published.
Fourteen hours until Ink is released and I feel as if I’m standing on a precipice, yet what waits below is not a deep chasm of treacherous rock and stone.
Today, I’m a published author, thanks to my short fiction. Tomorrow, though, I become a published novelist. Maybe it’s only semantics and this whole thing is worthy of nothing more than a rolling of the eyes.
Over the years, I heard things like “agents don’t rep horror”, “horror doesn’t sell”, and when I received the first rejection for the first query letter, I wondered if they were right. Second rejection. Ouch. By the fifth, they didn’t hurt as much. And then came a request. I don’t remember if it was a full or a partial, but what it meant was a maybe, a step up on a climb to somewhere that was a dream.
More waiting, more querying, more maybes, more nos. And then a yes. Another step.
And then came submission. More waiting, this time for editors, more maybes, more nos. Sometimes the nos cut so deep, I thought I’d bleed out before too long. Then came a yes. Another step. A huge one.
And now this.
I know tomorrow will bring giddiness and laughter and fear and anxiety, but right now, I have this almost ethereal feeling of accomplishment that tastes of honeysuckle and candyfloss. Call it luck, call it hard work, call it talent. But I didn’t quit. I kept taking those steps. I kept climbing.
Now I’m standing on that precipice and what waits below is a dream I dared to believe in, and I hope I never forget what this feels like.I hope he doesn’t, either.