Submitted

I had a complicated weekend. On Friday at about 1 pm, I clicked “Send” on an email to an agent. Then I went out for burritos. You better believe I had a beer as well.

I’ve been an emotional invalid ever since. I take a nap in the afternoon and cry at the smallest things. I have an intense intolerance of other people. I don’t know why it’s affecting me this way, but it is.

BFF (aka best friend in the world) came over on Thursday night. I was a bit shaky as I told her, “I have to do one more scan for typos and fix one section. Then I can submit my manuscript.” I have been inputting edits for years. I knew it wouldn’t take the whole day.

“How do you feel?”

“I have no idea. It’s been part of my life for six years. I mean, I married DP after five years. I am married to this manuscript. That sounds dumb, but you know what I mean.” She did, of course, which is why we are BFFs.

Later in the evening she said, “Are you sure it’s only the book that is bothering you?” BFF is not a writer. The week before I cried in front of her for about the third time in our twenty-mumble-year acquaintance.

So there I was in a bar, trying to explain to my friend why writing a book has made me a fragile shell of a human.

YES IT’S THE BOOK.

The weirdest thing about the book is that it is one of the biggest things I’ve ever done in my life, and I can’t explain it properly, and no one knows about it because even I don’t walk around telling people that I’m writing a book. (Actually that’s a total lie, I do. When you work in academia you can tell people that you’re writing a book without sounding like a weirdo.) I guess what I’m trying to say is that no one but other writers understand the enormity of learning how to write, edit, and finish a book.

(Aside: They do not teach you how to construct a book when you go to poet school. I asked my adviser how to order my thesis, and he was like, well, you just read it and know. Thanks. That was helpful. I most certainly did not know.)

This week it’s back to my editing, teaching, tutoring regular life. I might write a poem in a few weeks. If I feel like it. Maybe an email or two. Maybe a blog post on how to order a poetry manuscript. We shall see.

What’s next?

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11 responses to “Submitted

  1. This is huge! I’m glad for you in my vicarious way (a couple of months from being in the same situation after a four-year relationship). I fully understand and respect your anxiety.

    Two questions:

    Only ONE beer?

    “I take a nap in the afternoon and cry at the smallest things. I have an intense intolerance of other people.” – Will you marry me? (I’m sure our respective spouses would not mind.)

  2. YES IT’S THE BOOK.

    Ha. I totally get this, and I’m both thrilled for you and can empathize with your what-now state of mind. Still, remember that although this feels like the end of something…not even close. You have so much more to do.

    You know all this, so forget it and just bask in the glow of accomplishment. You finished the fucker! Congratulations!!!

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