your mood swings are insane. one moment you're all OH BOY OH BOY I AM SO PUMPED YOU GUYS THIS IS GOING TO BE SUPER SWELL and the next you're rereading your query letter and your manuscript and you discover 17 typos on page 22 and you're ready to start bawling your eyes out because YOU'VE READ THIS MANUSCRIPT ELEVENTY-BILLION TIMES and how is it even POSSIBLE that you didn't see these things until you SENT IT OFF and then you're sitting there, hiccuping sobs and sniffling snotbubbles when for no reason but the sheer manic state of your brain do you suddenly switch off and feel a strange hope that maybe things will work out, that maybe this agent will be The One, the one who loves you and gets you and sends you special messages on twitter and then OHHHHHH YOU'RE GOING TO VOMIT EVERYWHERE and maybe, you know what? you don't even know, you're crying again, and maybe now you've thrown a few sharp objects across the room and you're hit with SUDDEN BRILLIANCE. you have the perfect solution. you're going to be PRODUCTIVE. you're going to spend your every waking hour doing "research" to help assuage your ailing heart.
yes. that's right.
2. you develop stalker-like tendencies.
you start reading agent blogs, twitter feeds, every interview they've ever given on the internet, hoping for some kind of magical insight into the possible outcome of your situation. you're searching for a sign, a signal that they're secretly in love with you (or will soon be secretly in love with you!) and your manuscript. you're hoping for a glimpse into their thoughts, their feeeeeelings, their reactions to what they're receiving in their slushpile. do they seem happy today? do they sound excited about something? all of a sudden you're all omg omg maybe it's because they're in love with my manuscript OR WAIT. MAYBE IT'S BECAUSE THEY'RE IN LOVE WITH SOMEONE ELSE'S MANUSCRIPT AND THEY HATE MINE SO MUCH THEY WISH I WOULD JUST FALL OFF A CLIFF AND OMG THIS IS SO EMBARRASSING WHY DID I EVER EVEN GET OUT OF BED 5 DAYS AGO SOMEONE PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD JUST SHOOT ME IN THE FACE
3. you exhibit an almost Pavlovian response to the pinging chime of your inbox.
this is pretty self-explanatory. but suffice it to say that the moment you hear that sound, you will exhibit a multitude of emotions, including, but not limited to:
- loss of dignity
4. people will stop liking you.
all you care about, all you want to talk about, all you even want to think about is your inbox. if you own a smartphone, you are constantly checking your emails. at work. at home. in the middle of dinner. every 3 minutes. every 2 minutes. hell, who are you kidding, every 60 seconds. did you used to have a family? maybe you had a couple of kids? yeah? whatever happened to them? refresh refresh refresh HEY SO I READ THIS THING ON THE TWEETER ABOUT SHE SAID THAT THE THING AND THE YEAH AND YOU KNOW I REALLY THINK will be just about the only words you're capable of stringing together coherently. your ACQUAINTANCES will like you just fine -- you'll put on a smiling face for THEM, and when they ask you how you're doing, you'll cry only just a LITTLE bit -- but it's your truest friends and family who will not be able to stand the sight of you. every day it's, Oh, hey! How are you doing, Janie? and you're already pacing up and down the living room waving your arms like a crazy person, wringing your hands and WHAT IS THIS CHILD AND WHY IS IT CLINGING TO ME HAVE I TOLD YOU ABOUT MY QUERY LETTER YET
5. you want to give up.
you want to make the agony disappear, you want to make the pain stop, you want to back away slowly and take what little is left of your dignity and retire in Bermuda but wait, you were really hoping to cash in on that book thing because without the book thing all you can afford is a rickety adirondack chair at the ledge of your local community pool but the point is YOU'RE REALLY SICK AND TIRED OF THIS and you can't even REMEMBER the last time you had a nap, or slept through the night, and OH MY GOD HAS ANYONE BEEN FEEDING THE KIDS BECAUSE YOU CAN'T EVEN REMEMBER
it gets scary.
it gets scary as hell.
but know this: we've all had the crazies. all of us. and it's just a part of the process.
you, my friend, will be just fine.
HANG IN THERE.
never give up.