I did it. It's done.
I have cut and copied and pasted and edited and deleted and rewritten my novel . . . again. Now, I am ready to send it out into the world again for another round of rejections . . . again. Perhaps it sounds as if I am being a bit negative, but I like to think of it as preemptive self-pity.
Querying a novel causes so much self-doubt to well up inside of me that when I look in the mirror I expect to see a fourteen-year-old girl who is worried that no one will ask her to the dance.
When I come up with an idea for a novel and when I am writing a novel, I feel so good about myself that sometimes I giggle at inappropriate times. I'll read the New York Times bestseller list and picture my name on it. I'll visualize myself sitting at a table at Barnes and Noble asking eager fans, "Who should I make it out to?" I will even go to bookstores and find where my novel will be shelved one fine day (between Sanders and Seth if you want to know).
When I'm editing my novel, a little hole opens up inside of me and some of the good feelings start to drain out. I find myself going red with embarrassment when I see some of the things that I've written. Maybe I'll even bang my head on the kitchen table a few times and mutter, "stupid, stupid." But then I'll fix the book and patch up the hole and tell myself, "Okay, maybe not the bestseller's list, but still a table at Barnes and Noble."
But when the rejections start rolling in, that is when the hole is blasted open and I can't believe that I ever thought that I would ever, ever have a chance at being published and look at all the hours and hours I've spent crafting this novel and no one even wants to read sample pages and don't they know that in the seventh grade my English teacher told me that she would be surprised if I didn't make it as a writer one day and oh, wow I feel so stupid for ever getting my hopes up and I'm never ever going to get my hopes up about anything ever again and I'm never ever going to ever try anything new and oh yeah, I even burned super tonight and I can't do anything right why do I even try to do anything, I am a failure at every single thing in my life, it shouldn't even surprise me anymore!!!!!!
It's true, I think this and more. But . . . at heart I am a cheery person and only sometimes a brooding artist, so I usually bounce back . . . eventually.
With every rejection, it gets harder and harder to keep sending the book out there, because it's one more person who doesn't think it will succeed and if they think it won't succeed and they're the experts, why should I think it will?
Ants. That's the other thing I wish was wiped out in the flood. Ants.