LIFE ON THE HIGH WIRE
I’ve done it, by George I’ve done it! I submitted my book to a publisher. It was like leaving one’s first-born at the school gate at start of term. Have I done enough to prepare him for this day? Will people like him? If they don’t, will he survive the experience? Actually, it was much harder than that. Waving off a child to school has undertones of ‘Yippee, freedom!’ (Yeah, yeah, I know I’m an un-natural mother. Love me, love my lack of maternal feeling!) But the freedom bug is never really allowed free rein because it’s all over in a few short hours and after a week you are inured to the delirium of free-flight, anyway. There’s still the housework to be done, even if it is done quicker without junior underfoot.
Submit a manuscript, however, and you are sentenced to months on a high wire in the circus of the writer’s life. Have I done enough? Will they like it? If they don’t, will I survive? Is it worth starting another book yet if, after many months, the publisher replies with ‘like this but requires some re-writing’? Should I let the new book idea incubate a little longer and concentrate on short stories until I know one way or the other? It’s exhausting keeping one’s balance on the wire.
I have decided to pretend the book has been accepted, requiring nothing more of me until I face the barrage of cameras and world fame at the celebrity book launch: a harmless fantasy if it allows me to get back to my computer and tackle the next project.
But I might just indulge in a small siesta first.