I knew it was coming. I did not expect it so soon.
Last night I began preparing Star of Justice for submission to Marcher Lord Press. The good news is the writing tips column I'm supposed to study and apply has only 100 tips divided into 10-tip increments. I have more than 10 days until Nov 2, so I will read and apply one section per night during my normal writing time (get it, my lamb? Steady application is the key) with a few days left over in case any one tip takes more time than that.
Note: It is possible, since my Nov 2 deadline is somewhat arbitrary, for me to extend it, but I would rather not. I believe I will have enough time if I am diligent.
The bad news is as I was reading over the site in general to familiarize myself with its requirements, I came close to a panic attack. Fear is a nice word. I don't know if it goes far enough. Innards-twisting terror comes closer. I almost had to go throw up.
What am I afraid of, you may wonder? I've told you before. Success.
Parts of Marcher's website make me certain I will never be accepted by them. Other parts make me think I have a chance, and that terrifies me.
It is my absolute intention to throw everything I have into making my manuscript something that could be accepted by this publisher. Whether or not they will is an ugly truth I will cover in another post. The fact remains that they might accept it. Once that happens, my life changes forever.
I will then be required to be professional. To consider and possibly implement changes to my story. To follow non-arbitrary deadlines. To present my writing to a wider audience for review, critique and rejection in some form. Odds are excellent someone, somewhere will not care for my book.
It's enough to make this turtle want to pull into her shell and never write again. In the past, that is exactly what I have done.
This is not the past. This is now. I am nearly 40 years old. I am a professional. I meet deadlines all the time. I have made changes to my story based on comments made by those who have read it. I can do this.
I suspect I will spend the rest of the month in a low-level simmer of anxiety. You know, that state of readiness where you have to keep taking deep breaths, and your stomach remains clenched, and you're more aware of your heart beating. I feel like I just drank a 40 oz Mountain Dew with all the sugar and twice the caffeine, except I didn't.
Turtles weren't meant to feel this way. I don't like it. I pray I get past it or, like my heroine Caissa, I may spend the next 12 days throwing up a lot.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God, and the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:6-8 NIV, I think).