I completed my first full lenght novel checking in at aproximately 100,000 words in nine months. I continued to edit for a further year, tweeking, adding, subtracting, re reading, type proofing from several bulky printouts before finally deciding I had to let it stand alone. Tearing myself away from the world I had created was like the story of Swan Lake; a world so easy to flee to but so impossible to disentangle oneself from as to be potentialy fatal to ones life in the ‘real world’. An echo of the words of Robert Louis Stevenson from a biography by Claire Harman comes to mind in part;
‘…..these purely imaginative joys’ he wrote, ‘that weaken almost to the point of destruction of reality…this is buying at a price too great.’
Well I am not sure about the price if it is too great maybe he has a point but that does not alter the fact that writing for me is an obsession. Published or not I know I will continue, I just cannot help myself. I even edit my e mails, proof reading several times and thats not only before I click the send button. Yes it’s that bad.
At the beginning of 2013 I began sending my mss with required synopsis covering letters and chapters to one agent at a time paying the postage to and from France where I live waiting patiently to recieve the returned package with the rejection slip before sending off again to the next one on my short list. The letters were mostly polite, kind though brief with one exception where low and behold my writing was actually praised but unfortunatly, unable etc only a short list a small agency etc, but it was encouraging and gave me a glimmer of hope that I had only to keep on trying..Unfortunatly life interviened as it does, unavoidably sapping my energies for all but the task in hand, one fraught with emotional and heart rending experiance that made me leave my dreams on the shelf for a time.A time that will go into the fabric of who I am and that ultimatly gives you more than you loose if you are prepared to take a long hard look at yourself and your life and simply carry on.
And so,today armed with my worn 2012 copy of The Writers & Artists yearbook and the widening scope of web sites full of clues and useful information on writers agents sensibly prefering or at least giving the option of e mail submissions, I determine once again not to give up and sent off another submission.