Business of WritingThere’s a side of writing that I absolutely hate and I’m no good at. When the work is done and as clean as I can make it, it’s usually time to find it a home. To publish it. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as in the blogging world where you just hit “publish.”

“What do you have to do?” a friend asked me about my book, which to me sounded like, “Oh yeah? What’s so hard about it?”

Nothing. There’s nothing so hard about it. Write a query letter to various agents or publishers, and wait. Or edit it a little to fit the word count requirement if it’s an article or essay. And wait.

“Well, you gotta research websites, make sure they’re a good fit, check their guidelines. Everybody wants things sent a different way,” I complained.

“But your query letter is done, right? Don’t you use the same one?”

“Yeah, but you gotta sit down, change the dates, who it’s addressed to …” Ooh, tough, right? I knew I was stretching.

I mean, really. What’s my problem? It’s not even like I’m shooting in the dark. My writing coach has handed me a list of agents who publish similar things! Which is basically half the work, if not more. So, what’s my excuse?

I don’t have one. Not a good one, anyway. I’ve got plenty of weak ones. Frankie needs walking. I have to go to the gym. The Olympics are on. Actually, those are half decent. Next week, it’ll be: It’s a close game of Words With Friends, The Voice is on, or Frankie ate my query letter. It’s called procrastination, folks. And I’m guilty of it when it comes to submitting my work for publication.

When I’m writing, the words seem to bubble out like coffee from a percolator. It feels like there’s an energy behind them, an unseen motivator urging me on like a personal trainer. Once it’s written, the rest is just work. Like paying bills or doing taxes. The trainer has left the building and I have to benchpress a hundred pounds all by myself. With no one to spot me.

I’m writing this in my pajamas. Submitting something for publication feels like having to set my alarm to get dressed for an interview. Downtown. Or trying to cram my now widened and comfortable feet into stockings and heels. (Do women even still wear stockings or is that just a bad memory leftover from working in the 90s?)

Nevertheless, it’s a necessary evil of the writing world. That is, if you ever want people to read your words. And not just on your blog either.

And now that I’ve complained about it on my blog, my very best excuse, it’s time to hit “publish.” I’ve got other business to attend to.

Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.  ~William James

Advertisements