On Saturday night, Mrs. Lion tried to get me interested in sex. I was unresponsive. She said that it was probably because I fell asleep while we were watching TV. Maybe, but I don’t think so. This has happened before. It seems to coincide with times I am intensely involved with my writing.
I’ve been working on a novel for a while. Progress has been slow but steady. It’s no secret that my confidence has been shaken by the resounding rejections that my first book received (over 200). I took the hint and started a new project.
Since the chances that my work will be published are somewhere between slim and none, I decided to write a story that I would enjoy reading, sort of literary masturbation. I like my new story.
Anyway, I got an ad for a “first 10 pages boot camp.” It’s held by a very reputable writers’ publication. You submit the first ten pages of your manuscript. A legitimate agent reviews them and offers suggestions on how to improve the work.
This is very important for an author. Agents usually ask for the first ten pages when you ask them to represent you. If the agent doesn’t love them, you get rejected.
I asked Mrs. Lion if she was OK with me spending the money for the boot camp. She was. I looked at the credentials of the agents who would be reviewing the work. I requested a very senior agent at a New York agency.
My thought was that if I got less-than-positive feedback, I would seriously consider giving up my attempts to write fiction. I got the feedback early Saturday morning. Here is the first line of her comments:
“This was a very fun read. You have a very strong and engaging voice and that is half the battle. Bravo!”
She continued with very useful suggestions on how to improve my book. I sent her a thank-you note and mentioned that I was grateful for her encouragement. She responded and told me to keep going and that “You’re a good writer.”
Prior professional reviews of my first book were anything but encouraging. You can imagine how happy this review made me. I spent Saturday morning revising the first ten pages based on her excellent feedback. I worked the rest of the day on applying what I learned to the rest of my story. I was laser-focused on my story.
I stopped working at about four. I took a shower and relaxed. My mind was in the world I was creating in my story. I wanted to have sex but couldn’t get aroused. One-track lion. Too bad it wasn’t the fun track that Mrs. Lion was offering.
I’m writing this post on Sunday morning (early!). Mrs. Lion is still asleep. The dog came to my office to say hello and then went back under the bed to go back to sleep. I’m ready to get back to work on my story. I’m only 39,000 words in. The finished novel will be between 70 and 85,000 words.
Wish me luck!