The past five nights, I’ve woken up between two and three am, unable to get back to sleep for an hour to two, tossing and turning, trying in vain to shut my mind down. I know why I’m waking up – I’m anxious, nervous, stressed – all the bad words I knew before I sent my first novel out to agents that this world was a tough one – some agents get 5oo submissions a week and maybe take on two or three authors a year as clients. I also knew that 99% of successful authors had some struggle to get published and I’d wager every author has had at least one rejection, some hundreds.
It’s hard though at two am to be objective. It’s hard to remember that I’m not alone in this struggle to get published. It’s hard to tell myself not to give up. It’s hard not to worry that I’ll never get that agent or deal. It’s like all your fears and doubts crash over you like a huge wave and all self-belief is drowned out. Then the day comes and I find myself frantically checking my email every five minutes. There was the shot of hope when two agents asked to read the whole book (after I sent the first three chapters) then the fear that they won’t like it. It’s a roller coaster of ups and downs.
You worry you’ll never be good enough, you’ll never get there.
But just writing this helps. Putting my fears out there gives me a kind of release. I know that I’m not the only one facing all this. And I know that the only way I’ll really fail is if I give up. That I have to try. That I have done really well to have two agents interested, that they haven’t said no, which means they could say yes. That writing is what I love and I that I need to keep going if I want my book on the shelves one day.
That all this anguish will be worth it when I make it. And I’m determined to make it.
It would be nice to sleep well though
How do you cope with the ups and downs of begin a writer?