Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Looking busy

The good thing about being a home-based writer is that you don’t have a boss (editor) breathing down your neck. But when you’re in a position where someone you’re trying to impress – a prospective client or publisher, for example – is just a chat window away, then things can get a little hairy.

I recently submitted a novel to a publishing company. The company’s acquisitions editor E-mailed me about using AIM to chat with since I can only take relay calls in the event they need to call me. (Though I must add here that receiving phone calls isn’t a very good option for me since I have to keep my phone line connected to my modem for most of the day. This is only a temporary arrangement until I get better Internet service.) I said sure, that’s fine, and let her know my AIM.

On the surface, I didn’t see anything wrong with this. And so far it’s worked out pretty well – we greet each other each morning then bid an “adios” at day’s end. Any questions I have get her reply that same day and it’s even given me the opportunity to ask for more info about the company.

But just like with all things in life, every up has a down.

As many authors know, after we get our books out the door, there is ALWAYS that temptation to pester the editor/publisher to see if they got the manuscript, if they LIKE the manuscript, what they don’t like, what they think so far, etc. And! More importantly: If our chances of being accepted look good.

As busy as I can get with all the writing projects I got going on, I keep one eye on my work and another on that AOL symbol to see if that little guy starts flashing. Anytime it flashes could be my nephew or sister IMing me to say “hi” but I always hope it’s the editor sending a message like, “Dawn, we’d LOVE to publish your book!” Or “Congratulations, you’ve been accepted. Where can I send your big fat advance?” (Heh, just kidding.) (Really.)

Basically we talk about stuff like goings-on where we’re at, editing, writer/editor etiquette and just general chit-chat. I once talked about how I was stumped on a title for my blog-post-turned-article. Just, that sort of thing. Of course I don’t bug her TOO much; I’m not going to abuse this privilege of being in touch with her through AIM.

Still, sometimes I’m wary of the whole thing. I get on- and offline A LOT during the day (partly because I usually forget I had to do something TODAY) and since I’m on her Buddy List, I wonder if her noticing my frequent online/offline/online status makes it look like I’m frantically checking my E-mail hoping I’ve heard from her or that I just don’t have much of a life outside of being online. (This, of course, isn’t true; I got a toddler, after all!). I don’t want her to think I am DESPERATELY HOPING to hear from her, with nary another WIP to keep me busy (actually, I’ve got quite a few, but let’s NOT go there).

Well, getting a reply soon would be NICE. A huge amount of stress lifted off of me after I submitted the book but not all of that stress is gone and it won’t be gone until the book finds a nice home somewhere. I’m holding my breath on whether or not they will publish my novel and I kinda need to breathe soon. Hopefully, it’ll be a breath of relief!

But even as I am trying to be EXTREMELY PATIENT during this agonizing waiting process, there is ALWAYS that niggling temptation to ask “Did ya read my book yet? Huh? Did ya? Did ya like it? Huh? Did ya???”

Luckily, I haven’t given in to that temptation. … Yet.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home