Do you ever experience such a deep restlessness to the point that you ache inside? It’s the gnawing feeling where you know either something BIG is going to happen, or nothing is going to happen at all, (in which case the feeling will just pass… and you’ll sail on with your normal life).
I experienced this restlessness twice this year already, and both times something big did happen.
The first one happened in March. I ended up buying a ticket to California to attend the Mount Hermon Writers’ Conference, which changed EVERYTHING for me in my writing journey.
The second one happened in May, when I quit my job to be a radical homemaker… and write full time too, of course.
These feelings seem to come in two-month waves. Not that I’m keeping track, but the first one happened in March, the second in May, and now it’s July, and I’m feeling the pull again, like an agitated sea searching for dry ground.
I think Switchfoot says it best in the lyrics of their song, conveniently called “Restless”:
I am the leaky, dripping pipes
The endless aching drops of light
I am the raindrop falling down,
Always longing for the deeper ground
I just feel something drawing me in, gently nudging me, telling me to take the next step.
But what’s the next step? I don’t know what it is for my life as a whole, but I think I have an idea of what it means for my book.
I’ve finished the ‘final’ rough draft of my first novel (the first in a trilogy), and now it’s floating around among family members and friends. I know when the final reader returns the book with the final feedback, and I apply the final revisions, I’ll be ready for the next step: to send my baby to literary agents.
Common belief holds that literary agents are the ogres of the publishing process, that they’re the ones who get to see your first book proposal and then reject you with the worst kinds of insults you could imagine. But that’s not true.
I’ve had the wonderful opportunity of meeting with literary agents at conferences and they’re actually really nice. At least the ones I met. I mean, like, SUPER nice. Sure, they reject hundreds of books a year, but they’re just doing their jobs. It’s not like they’re rejecting the authors, they’re just rejecting the author’s work. I get that. I understand that it’s a business.
But I can’t ignore the warring worms in my stomach every time I just think about sending my book proposal to agents. I can’t fight the nagging voice inside my head telling me my book’s not good enough. I know there’s a small chance for my manuscript to get accepted, as evidenced by thousands of authors, even bestsellers, who took YEARS to get published.
But I can’t just sit here and not try.
The good thing is I’m not too incredibly desperate to get traditionally published, either. I mean, with self-publishing becoming more popular, viable, and financially beneficial, I won’t complain if I end up going the self-pubbed route.
Right now, I’m just writhing with restlessness, praying that my ‘chance’ may come soon. My chance to what? To shine? To completely humiliate myself? Either way, I’m ready for my life to begin. Again. For the third time this year.
“I’ll be waiting, Anticipating, All that I aim for, What I was made for, With every heartbeat, All of my blood bleeds, Running inside me, Looking for You.” -Switchfoot