The journey to become published is paved with the carcasses of writers who have suffered through many tortures - the worst of which is waiting. Learning how to wait patiently should be a first year credit course for anyone taking a writer's program or be taught at whatever writer's retreat you might be lucky enough to attend. I've been writing for over seven years. I've waited through my share of writer milestones: waiting to hear back from agents (agony I tell you!), waiting to hear back from editors once your book is on submission (torture - sheer torture!), waiting to find out if your book made it through the acquisition meeting (tear your hair out torture!), waiting for the first revision letter, waiting for final pass pages, waiting to see your cover, waiting for your agent to get back to you with revisions for your next book, waiting, waiting, waiting...
I thought I'd passed through all the seven circles of waiting hell by this point but there was one more I had to face: waiting for my author's copies to arrive.
Sheer. Brutal. Agony.
I got the email from the publisher earlier this week saying the books were on their way. My agent emailed me yesterday saying she'd got her copies and they looked great. Now waiting was compounded by its ugly cousin jealousy - dang it everybody else had their copies - when could I hold my book in my hands? I was home pretty much all day yesterday and thought the mailman would end my suffering (it had been a while since I'd stalked the mailman!) But, nope, my waiting would not be over with the sound of bills and magazines thunking onto the front hall carpet. I would have to wait some more.
But I was pro at waiting. I'd learned over the years what I needed to do. I would work on my wip! I'd clean the house! I'd rake the yard! Laundry! Of course. Hockey games to attend, errands to run. All of these things would take my mind off of the waiting.
But I'd failed to realize one small difference in this waiting game that made it different from all the other waiting games I'd played in the last seven years. This time I was waiting for my first book to arrive. It was out there. In the world. About to be launched. Held by people. Read by people. It was here.
Two more days until the mailman comes again. The seventh circle of hell has morphed into number eight and counting...