It’s happened. I have finally submitted my novel to an agent. Now all I can do is wait with bated breath. I feel sick in my stomach and paralyzed by fear. It is a somewhat similar feeling to the first time you proposition a girl as a teenager. You do your up most to prepare yourself for the worst, therefore logically trying to minimise the likely hurt when you get the expected rejection. As someone who lived through his teenage years, years ago I remember that it doesn’t really work.
There is a distinctly Hollywood element to the act of submitting a manuscript. The feeling that ‘those things only happen to people in the movies’ means that its impossible to think any other way than pessimistically which actually suits my natural demeanor. Nevertheless such an approach creates a natural apprehension.
Another problem which emerges is the inability to be objective about your own work. I can no longer look at my manuscript. Every time I do I have a conflicting feeling. One day I feel it is great, the next I feel it is a disaster. The safest thing I can do for now, is to put it somewhere out of sight and out of mind while I try to busy myself with dull tasks to avoid thinking about the significance of my first submission.
Can I now say I have written a novel? Does that mean I am a writer? What if they reject me? Does it mean I am not good enough? Does it mean that my writing is bad or that my idea is bad or that both are bad? The only thing which is clear to be right now is that it doesn’t bear thinking about.