March 31st, 2010

"I am very much enjoying the story."

*big huge girly scream*

Yes, that was me on Monday when I received an email from an agent who was reading a partial and requested the full. Now, this whole time I've been what I like to call "cautiously optimistic", which in my mind means, I don't think my work sucks, but I don't have the sheer confidence yet that this is going to happen for me. I want it to, boy do I want it to. But, I'm afraid to let my heart become hopeful. I just don't want it to be broken. I always expect an agent to come back with an R. Is that healthy? I don't know. People tell me I should be excited, thrilled to have been getting the sort of response I have, and I AM--but I'm not. *sigh*. It's a tricky situation.

Part of me wants to revel in the success of hearing those words ("I am very much enjoying the story"), but another part tells me to forget it because it will ultimately end in an R. I really want to be positive, to let my hope through, but I'm having a really hard time with that. It should be enough of a reassurance that the agent in question likes the portion she's read so far and has requested the full manuscript, and you know what? It kind of is. I mean, that in itself is a huge milestone. A partial to a full is an amazing step that many writers don't reach (this is my first!). I'm trying to keep that in perspective, because even if it ultimately ends in the dreaded R, at least I've reached this next level in my querying career. And it does feel good. Amazingly so.

In an industry where everything is subjective and really relies on right time, right story, right agent, right author, it's extremely hard to stay upbeat. To take each success as they come instead of dwelling on the failures. It's a hard concept to grasp, but I'm trying. Most of us end up on the dwelling end, but if we stay there too long we end up bitter. I don't want that to be me. I want to enjoy the ride as long as I can. I want to say 'yeah, I did that', when my day comes. So the words, "I am very much enjoying the story" will sustain me until I hear (read) the next huge phrase, "When would be a good time to call you?"

Oooh, that one makes me shiver... ;)