Yesterday I got an e-mail chain letter. It said if I passed it on to 8 other people right away, something wonderful and “long wished-for” would appear in the next 8 minutes.
Sweet! I thought. Maybe it won’t be Colin Ferrell at my door, but I have been waiting patiently to hear back from that dream editor at Hyperion about my novel. So after 7 1/2 minutes I wandered outside to get the mail and… sure enough………
THERE IT WAS!
My August issue of STUFF Magazine!! With Leslie Bibb on the front cover! Who is Leslie Bibb? You ask. No idea. Some scantily clad blond chick with HUGE fake, um, eyes.
But that 30-second adrenaline infused rush to the mailbox got me thinking. The heart pumping, nervous tingly sensation I used to feel when locking eyeballs in the hallway with a boy I was crushing on, is happening all over again! Only this time, the editor who has my ms is the boy, and we have to lock eyeballs through the mailbox. But still. LOVE that feeling!
Very few situations in life precipitate this feeling in one’s body. I used to get it when I was applying to Medical School. I ran to the mailbox every day and tore open envelopes from schools across the country, hoping that one of them would “love” me back. My pre-med friends and I obsessed; we played Spin The Bottle type games to see where we’d end up going to school. We needed hobbies desperately, I know.
Here’s the thing: Once I got into medical school, the whole idea lost its luster. The process of applying and fantasizing was more fun than actually being there. Similarly, once I “got” the boy I crushed on, he suddenly wasn’t so appealing anymore.
I often think about Robert Sabuda’s “Careful What You Wish For” conference speech. He reminded us that becoming published brings a whole new set of challenges. Marketing, deadlines, and sales will replace our current obsessions with character, plot, and schmoozing editors.
I love sitting in our little coffee joint with Jay and Robin (and other assorted OCD writer regulars) writing, re-writing, discussing writing until my brain hurts. I so enjoy the creative process. And I always want to have those butterflies in my stomach before we go to a conference or fantasize about being published, winning awards, and doing lunch with our dream editors.
I’m just afraid that after we’re published, that “crush” feeling will evaporate. Will we still feel the thrill? Or will we be sitting in the coffee joint mumbling about deadlines?
Of course, who am I kidding? After a long day of wringing my brain, I’ll still run to the mailbox sweating in hopes of seeing that acceptance letter from Hyperion!
Enjoy the process, man…