Just before I left for a summer "vacation" with my boys (in quotes because sometimes I feel that when we are on "vacation," the boys have the time of their lives while I exhaust myself playing card games in airports and trying to remember I have a name other than Mommy), I did it. I took the leap, I made the jump, I broke the seal. After nearly five months of writing without showing anybody a word of my work, I put a proper cover page on my manuscript and composed an email to the people whose opinion means the most to me.
"What do you think?" I asked. Then I hit send.
And then I waited.
Within days, I got an email from my mom. "Oh, sweetie," she wrote. "I just loved it!!"
Oh mom, I thought. I love you too. It was great to get the unconditional love and support I so depend on from her. Not only that, but as a brilliant woman and a sophisticated reader, I value her opinion tremendously. But come on. She's my MOM.
And then I waited some more. I'm still waiting. And I'm trying not to freak out.
Have they read it and just don't want to write to me because it's so bad?, I wonder. (Usually when it takes awhile for someone to respond, of course, they just haven't read it yet, which is impossible to conceive of from the perspective of the author, sweating with anxiety and checking her email every five seconds.) Am I close with this draft, or will it be back to the drawing board?, I fret. I know I should be distracting myself by working on other things. I know I shouldn't let my mind wander as I wait. (It goes to insecure places.) But it's hard to truly turn my attentions to something else when I am still so fully and completely immersed in the book I just finished. I have lived and breathed it for almost two years now, and suddenly there is nothing I can do with my passion/obsession but wait.
It's hard though. I want to nudge, to prod, to beg. Please read immediately! I need to know what you think before I explode!
So I ask you to distract me, dear She Writers. What do you do when you are waiting for a response to your work? And do you ever nudge, prod or beg for the feedback you crave? (Wondering what Emily Post would say about the proper etiquette regarding manuscript response time.) I hope you write lots of comments. This waiting is a lonely business, and I've got nothing but time to read them.