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Friday, December 2, 2011

Sh*t That Happened While I Was Looking for An Agent

I'm in the basket but you can't tell cause I look really, really tiny.
After I wrote the “pull the rope” post I was thinking a lot about how long we writers have to wait to get anywhere in this business.  You know, since I’m at a new stage of this publishing process but still waiting.  I’m no longer waiting to land an agent for which I am extremely grateful.  But I know many writers out there with truly fabulous books who are still looking for agents.  I gotta tell ya—the waiting?  It’s no easier on this side than it was on that side.  But as Susan Fields so astutely pointed out in the comments section of the "pull the rope" post, sometimes we forget we’re waiting at all, because our life goes on.  That got me thinking about how many things happened in my life while I was waiting to land an agent.  Or waiting to hear back from agents which is probably more accurate.  (See my posts on Agent John Doe and Jane Doe for more on that). I've posted before on how ridiculously long the agent-snagging process was for me.    So here is a list of stuff that I did or that happened while I was waiting for an agent:
Moved to a different city.
Got a new job.
Met Mr. Right.
Had a baby.
Bought a house.
Got engaged.
Got a promotion.
Wrote another book.
Bought a car.  (Tree fell on that one.  Bought another one.)
Started a website.
Went up in a hot air balloon.
Got my paralegal certificate.
Celebrated in the streets when the Phillies won the World Series in 2008.
Developed an allergy to alcohol.
Was ecstatic to get 1 new nephew, 1 new niece and 2 new pseudo-nephews (since I’ve been on subs I’ve got 3 more nephews and a new niece!)
Went to 8 weddings (there were also 3 I was invited to that I couldn’t attend).
Went to 8 funerals (there were, unfortunately, 3 additional that I could not attend).
Visited Oregon, Virginia and Kentucky.  Fun times.
Met my BFF, the brilliant and wonderful Nancy Thompson

Come to think of it, this whole process is a lot like riding in a hot air balloon.  You climb into the basket, sail into the sky, pull your hat down hard over your head so your scalp doesn't get burned off and you just float around out there.  It's exhilarating and a little scary and there's a lot less turbulence than you expected.  Most of all, you have no control whatsoever over where you're going to land.

So what do you do?

You enjoy the ride.  You look around and realize, holy sh*t, this is really beautiful.  All this stuff around me is really beautiful.  Or it can be if the sun is out and the wind is right and the temperature is semi-warm (and on occasion if you've got a bellyful of wine).

Waiting is really hard.  Don't let it distract you from all the good stuff going on right under your nose. 

You've got to use all that stuff for inspiration anyway.  Use the bad stuff too--unfortunately it usually makes for more entertaining stories!


There I am with our pilot, Bob, formerly of NASA
What do you do while you're waiting?

18 comments:

  1. Always wanted to do a hot air balloon ride, it looks like fun. Am I correct in assuming the alcohol allergy was related to the celebration in the streets?

    Very good advice, Lisa. It's too easy to get caught up in the actual act of waiting instead of plunging ahead with the rest of your life.

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  2. To quote the great John Lennon - Life is what happens when you're making other plans. You've spent your time well. That's what counts! Congratulations on a life well lived.

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  3. Ah, thank you so much for this post. I'm querying right now, hitting my head against the walls while I wait. But you're right, life goes on and we all must wait and notice the other important and beautiful things around us. It's encouraging to know that you've done all that while you waited for an agent. It feels all I've done so far is go crazy! Lol.

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  4. Great post. And so true. LIfe goes on...and on...and on. Wow, you did a lot of major life-changing stuff in those years!

    Also, so sorry to hear about your allergy to alcohol. :P

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  5. Absolutely fantastic post! :) I so agree with you, there is way too much awesomeness going on to focus forever on our email inbox, waiting for the perfect agent. :)

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  6. I'm a very anal and one tracked person. I will let the waiting destroy me! LOL

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  7. Bless you.

    I suppose, being only about three months into having a completed manuscript, I should stop worrying. The worrying shouldn't have started yet. I stupidly queried before I had finished editing and with a pretty bad query letter, so I just sat around waiting and thinking, "Well, that was a bad idea."

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  8. Egads! I knew you were a busy woman, but geesh! And a writer with an allergy to alcohol? You have my sympathy for that one. :|

    Great post, as always!

    P.S. Those hot air balloon photos are great! :)

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  9. Ha! You got that right about the total lack of control. That wild careening feeling must be from the balloon I'm on, all those warm air pockets that make it soar followed by the cold air that sends me plummeting. I'ts making me a little sick, actually. ;)
    Great post!

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  10. You put that all so eloquently. I used to be so anxious to get started, to find an agent then a publisher. I made a lot of mistakes because I was in such a hurry. And though I do have a few regrets, I can't regret the things I've been forced to learn while query & waiting. I've met some amazing people, the best of whom is you. Even if all this writing & query & waiting & crying & worrying comes to nothing, I will thank my lucky stars for you. That's been my greatest while waiting. That and learning how to be patient! God, am I ever patient!! But if, by chance, something wonderful does happen, I'm happy you'll be by my side. Even if that's only virtually! And I apologize for the typos. I typed this on my phone & It wouldn't let me make corrections. Oh, technology! It's supposed to say My greatest gift... Errrrr!

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