Nicola Vincent-Abnett

Nicola Vincent-Abnett
"Savant" for Solaris, Wild's End, Further Associates of Sherlock Holms, more Wild's End

Tuesday 20 March 2012

In the Wilderness

I have been blogging for 47 days. It doesn’t seem like a long time, does it? 
Think again. Christ spent 40 days in the wilderness. That’s why we give something up for Lent, you know? between Ash Wednesday and Easter. By the way, congratulations to all of you who have made it this far through Lent without eating chocolate, drinking beer, or smoking a cigarette. No... I mean it... I honestly do. Congratulations!
The difference between you and me is that you have all the control. It is entirely up to you whether you break your promise to yourself, and, for some of you, to God, and fall off whichever wagon you climbed onto on Ash Wednesday. I’ve been where you are, I’ve given up stuff, successfully and unsuccessfully, for various Lents in previous years.
After more than 40 days in the wilderness, I feel stuck. I can’t see my way out, and, although I keep asking for help, my pleas are falling on deaf ears.
Most writers write in a sort of vacuum. It is a solitary business, and we accept that; it isn’t torture to us, not in the way that this is.
I was given hope. My novel, “Naming Names” was runner-up for the Mslexia novel writing competition! Yay! Go me! I hoped that, having beaten 1800 other novels to the table, my little book might begin to get some attention. OK, I’ll admit it, it got a line in the Mslexia magazine. I also got a phone call from a lovely woman at the magazine. An agent is reading my work... That’s right! An Agent Is Reading My Novel!
Once upon a time, I believed that life couldn’t get any better than this. The very height of my expectations was that an agent might be persuaded to take an entire manuscript for one of my novels and actually read it. Now that is happening, and, instead of feeling fulfilled, I find that my expectations have reached new heights, and that waiting for someone to finish reading my book is, in fact, becoming a bit of a nightmare. 
What happens when the agent has finished reading my novel? How many new questions will its rejection, or, indeed, its acceptance, throw up? Dozens, I tell you.
Then, I’m sure I will be plunged back into another wilderness. It has been more than 40 days since my novel was shortlisted for the Mslexia. How many days between one agent rejecting the book and another asking for a full manuscript? And, if the agent decides to take on the book, how long until it finds a publisher willing to take a chance on it? Then, how long until publication?
It could be years. I know that it could be years. I am ready for it to take years... Almost... First, I need to learn to breathe and stop counting the bloody days! Six weeks... So far, it’s only taken six short weeks.

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