At about eleven AM—having started at six AM—I went through my new manuscript for the Xth time. I decided it was done. Was it truly finished? I had been working on this, the first draft, for six months. No, not finished, but finished enough that my editor needs to evaluate it. The only one who has heard (not read) the book is my wife. While she is a terrific critic—and indeed some of her suggestions have been incorporated into the text—she is my wife, not my editor.
So, I must send it in.
Am I fully confident the book will be accepted? Well, actually, no. For this writer, anyway, there is no such thing as a sure thing. Most of the book—I think—is good –but I would not bet my life on it. I’m anxious then, and will be for at least a month—or longer—until I get a response.
But I do have the satisfaction that I have reached this point.
Then, at about 2 pm—same day—I drove to the post office—in this rural area, a back and forth drive of twenty-miles–to pick up my mail.
In the mail was an express package from another editor, with notes for another new book. The book was submitted about six months ago, in fact, just as I started working on the book mentioned above.
The notes—at first glance—look complex.
I’ll need to start working tomorrow. Not all bad. It will keep me from thinking about the just submitted book.
Those of you out there who hunger for the life of a writer, just know the work never ends. Never. As for you professionals out there who are kind enough to read these notes, you know exactly whereof I speak.
S.J. Perelman—a 20th century funny man, was once asked about his life as a writer. “Love the job,” he said. “Hate the paperwork.”