A Trickle of Angst

You package up the rewritten manuscript and send it back to your agent. Repeat waiting routine. Redouble angst. Days elapse, then weeks. You fidget. You try to write. You drive yourself (and your family) as nuts as you did when you were waiting for the response to the first draft (which is a misnomer in itself since before you sent it to your agent in the first place you’d gone through so many revisions and rewrites you lost track and half your mind).

But when she gets back to you, she wants more changes. This happens three more times over the span of seven months, including a gap over the holidays that stretches so long you finally give up and call her to which she responds, “I am so sorry. I was in the hospital for an operation. I’ll be back on track in no time.” Why didn’t she tell you? you wonder.  You could have sent a card and snuck in a query about her progress on the book.

But she gives you some hope. “I think it’s really close,” she says. “It’s really coming together.”

Your soaring ego does, however, have time to sink back to earth since you wait another few weeks for her to get her final changes to you.

“As soon as I get the manuscript back from you,” she says this time, “I’m sending it right out.”

You work feverishly. A few of the changes are simple typos. Others take more time. Finally, over the course of a few days when you steal as much time at work to make changes and when you spend each evening slashing through the manuscript pages, deciphering her queries through burning, red-rimmed eyes, you’re done.

The book goes back once more.  You try not to think of your publisher. You try not to wonder if he will like it, especially now, when it hasn’t even made it onto his desk.

The wait continues. As the clock continues to tick over the days and weeks, a trickle of angst returns.

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