Monday, November 15, 2010

taking the plunge

“How well do you know your physician? Well enough to trust him with your health? Your life? What if he can’t be trusted at all? In The Bandaged Place, Dr. Kate Tilton learns this the hard way. For her, the cure is worse than the cancer.”

Well, I did it. I nudged my fledgling manuscript out of the proverbial nest. I sent out my very first query letters! I did it! Me! This is what I meant in my last post when I said I was taking the plunge into the unknown…because God knows what will happen next. This is an exciting step for me…but it’s a scary move, too. I think that there should be some way to test the waters before you dive in like this. You might not have the strength to stay afloat. You have no idea where you will end up. What lies ahead looks murky and mysterious.

No, wait. Maybe not. Maybe it’s better this way…not knowing what lies ahead. This way you can still dream. You can drift along and imagine that success lies just around the next bend. There is an element of intrigue…of anticipation…of adventure that animates the spirit—depending, of course, on how you look at it.

Thankfully, I’m not alone out here. I am surrounded by creative souls--talented writers, artists and performers--who have taken the plunge, too. We are all paddling as hard as we can to catch up with those who have gone before us, the published authors, juried artists, successful songwriters and choreographers who took the leap and survived the journey.

For me, the next crucial step will take me to the “pitch slam” session at the Writers Digest conference in Manhattan in January. It’s one thing to hit the “send” button and launch your work into cyberspace. It’s quite another challenge to sit face to face with some of the best literary agents in the country with ninety seconds to convince them that your book is the breakout novel of the century and they should be clambering to represent you…or to take a look at it, at least. This session puts hopefuls together with representatives from agencies like FinePrint Lit., Folio Lit., Donald Maass Literary Agency, Serendipity, and Writers House, among others. I just hope someone will be there to throw me a lifeline in case I start to sink.

Who will nudge you out into the unknown?

“Only those who risk going too far
can possibly find out how far one can go.”
--T.S. Eliot—
In my next post—I don’t know—maybe I’ll share a short passage from The Bandaged Place just to see what you think of it. Maybe.

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