Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Writer Angst

Damn. Is it Wednesday already?

I completely forgot it was my drunken blog day. I haven't even had a drink to prepare.

Since I have no topic... I'm going to dump what's on my mind right now... which is mostly angst.

We writers can be a neurotic lot and I'm certainly no exception. Add that to the very long list of why my previous career didn't suit me. No one wants their accountant to be stressing all the time, or second guessing their choices, or what people mean, or reading between the lines of two sentence e-mails trying to find subtext that probably isn't there. (All things I've done in the past 2 hours.)

I'm extra-angsty this week, because I'm waiting on a couple of things. I have zero expectations of getting to the final 10 in that Amazon contest... (Really, I expected to be one of the 4900 already eliminated.) yet somehow, as the date draws near, I'm getting bummed that I probably won't be in the top 10. I also sent a new project to my agent this week and am DYING to know what she thinks. This is far from the first time I've been in this situation and you'd think I'd be better at handling it by now, but I'm not. I know I need to keep working on the new project, but suddenly it feels pointless...

I spent the first couple of days of this week on a serious high. Things were finally going my way. 2008 was going to be my year and everything was about to start falling into place.

Somehow, between Tuesday morning and now, the glass that looked more than half full, has completely drained. And I can't even site a specific trigger for this mood change. Can't find a hole in the glass, and haven't seen Daniel Day Lewis with a really long straw. (You need to have seen There Will Be Blood or last week's SNL to get that one. Okay, you need to see There Will Be Blood to get the sketch from SNL... But boy, did that SNL guy do a good impression of DDL.)

Given today's pessimism, let's hope I'm not psychic, or that if I am, my abilities were working earlier in the week but are on the fritz now.

What do you do to keep sane while waiting on news?


Molly O'Keefe said...

this part is easily THE HARDEST thing about writing. Waiting. Angsting. Waiting. Guessing. Trying to write not being able but knowing you should. Awful. Without a doubt the worst part about the business. Lots of drinks Maureen - lots of drinks. It's the only way to get through. I wish there was some advice - obviously, try to keep writing, and I know that's practically impossible. Long walks with sympathetic ears.

Anonymous said...

Yep, agree with Molly.. this part sucks.. the only remedy.. Drunk Writer Talk..

Kimber Chin said...

I usually take it as a sign that I don't have enough on the go. If I worry about stuff, I'm not busy enough.

'Course that leads to being a workaholic but that's a whole other post.

The way I'm looking at it, your situation has all upside and no downside. The downside is your current situation (having a great agent, great writing skills and a couple manuscripts waiting to be discovered) which ain't that bad.

Ohhh.... you know what? You could use this to write about a heroine waiting (for a job response from that great company, a pregnancy test, a transfer, etc). Great stuff.

Maureen McGowan said...

Feeling much better today. Nothing's changed but the angst has diminished. It always does... I should never angst and blog. Dangerous combo.

Thanks guys for talking me off yet another ledge. More ledges to come, I'm sure of it.

Barrie said...

I don't know if waiting to hear back on a project ever gets easier. I guess it's a little like sending your kid to kindergarten. I have four kids. You'd think by the fourth, it'd be old hat. But, no, I always cry. The only thing I've learned is to wear big sunglasses. :)

My house tends to be cleaner when I'm waiting.

Hang in there, Maureen!

Anonymous said...

What do I do to minimize the angst? I read awesome blogs about writers going through angst. :)

I hear your anxiety and up you an equal measure of certainty that the agent will love your work and that Amazon will recognize how good Miseducation is. All good vibes going your way, Maureen.

Now, if I could only be as certain that my recently sent new MS will be met with open arms by my agent ... argh. Angst be gone!

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