Suddenly I can’t breathe. My lungs are closing up and I have a thick, gooey, sludge of panic blanketing the top half of my stomach. I am taking quick, alarming breaths while the muck pushes on the bottom of my lungs and blocks my ability to inhale enough air to fill them to capacity.
I know it is real now.
This is the final draft.
People outside my network of trust will read, judge and then print this manuscript.
I have never been so sure of anything yet so fucking scared in my entire life.
By this afternoon I’ll be so ready to take on the challenge of final preparations on this baby. My baby. The closest thing I’ve ever had to a baby. Interesting. Maybe that’s where the problem lies.
It is always the most difficult to let go of the first born, to watch them grow into a beautiful and mature being then set them free into the world. I’m like a nervous, overprotective mother sending my daughter off to the mall for the first time by herself; having to trust in the fact that I did the best I could for her in teaching her the ways of the world so she will come back, generally unscathed and more polished through life experience.
It isn’t like I discovered cold fusion or how to merge dust particles or something profound here. It is chick-lit. The 60,000 word story is your everyday girl tale of sex, friendship and career. The main character is the kind of Boston girl all of us know and love -- an early thirty-something, sports nut that loves her friends and hockey, wears sneakers, works from home as a writer, and drinks beer not martinis. She is just complex enough to be serious, but just light enough to be everyone’s best friend, and though girly, she can hang with the toughest of guys. Sara McCree. An Irish lass from good, if slightly neurotic, stock, and her three closest friends let you peek in on the couple months of their lives when their formerly easy-breezy days collide with the reality of life.
For all it is, I know that it is good. Like, really good. I am not one to wave my own flag most of the time, I prefer to wave other’s and I take compliments so terribly, but this time I’m giving it up for myself because I put together something that I am so proud of and believe in so much that I really want others to see it, feel it, too.
So why am I so nervous?
It’s that ever nagging thing that haunts all writers -- what if no one reads it? Or worse -- what if everyone who reads it hates it?
The fear is totally irrational, yes I know this, and as soon as it is out there with no way to turn back I will be so happy, but right now Draft 5 sits open on my desktop; I’m only five sentences in but every time I think of clicking over to work on it the lung slime rears its ugly head and reapplies the squeeze of doom.
I’m much like my character in a lot of ways -- a thirty something, writer, sports nut and beer drinker living in Boston -- but while my character plows through life with reckless abandon and is uber successful, I sit here and allow myself to feel this brief moment of insecurity.
It will pass.
And when it does I will take the pages turned teenager, that I have poured so much of myself into, and complete their crafting into the woman I know they can be.
My baby is finally graduating and it feels surreal, but I’m excited to finally set her free.
If only I could use this as my query letter. The only thing it doesn’t include is an excerpt. But it sure does show off my psychosis in glorious fashion. Any publishing house willing to work with me after reading this drivel is sure to market me to make millions.
Too bad they don’t have the e-Harmony equivalent for writers and publishing houses huh? It would certainly speed up the process not to mention reduce the bullshit Editors have to sift through in order to find that singular gem. Maybe I should work on creating that.
Or maybe I should just stop fucking around and start editing my book.