Home > Writing > My first novel: a retrospective – part 4

My first novel: a retrospective – part 4

In case you haven’t read the first three parts in this series of blog posts, you can find them here:

        My first novel: a retrospective – Part 1
        My first novel: a retrospective – Part 2
        My first novel: a retrospective – Part 3

Rejection letters suck. However, letters showing interest in reading your entire novel are, well, amazing. That’s right, a real publisher had read through my twenty or so pages and had thought highly enough of them to request the whole book. I was on cloud nine. In a small way, this was a level of validation for me as a writer, that perhaps this compulsion to write was based on some subconscious awareness that I was actually good enough to do so. I was ecstatic, to say the least, and though I can’t recall exactly how long my adrenaline driven euphoria lasted, I know that from that point forward, I no longer felt that I was wasting my time sitting in front of a computer and typing on the keyboard. Perhaps, just maybe, I was a writer.

Faced with my first request for a complete manuscript, I dutifully endured the laborious process of printing a three hundred plus page document on my cheap Okidata printer. Twenty pages at one time was easy; over three hundred was ridiculously difficult when your paper was fed using a transport mechanism called tractor feed (yes, you read that right), whose sole purpose was to pull perforated sheets of paper from a box sitting beneath the printer. Carefully, chapter by chapter, I ever-so-slowly printed the full copy of my manuscript. It was painful to say the least, but as each chapter was printed and added to the stack that was becoming a hard copy of my novel, I again felt a wonderful sense of accomplishment. I could physically see my book coming together, and it was darned impressive in size. And on top of that, someone completely unknown to me, had asked to read what I’d written on the pages I had sitting before me.

Finally, manuscript printed, I packed it away in a large document box, addressed it, and sent it off in snail mail. I think I rode that adrenaline high for weeks. What a great feeling. Funny what a small piece of positive news about your writing can do for your emotional well-being. It really helped boost me onward in my writing journey. Though I knew the likelihood of a first-time author actually being published was small, inside, I couldn’t help but think about the possibilities. So I waited, and I wrote … and I waited and I wrote some more. All good, you know. But still, each time I sat in front of that old computer and banged out some words, in the back of my mind all I could really think about was my novel that I’d sent off to the publisher.

But what was happening? Had anybody read it? Did they like it? Hate it? When could I expect to hear from them? Would I ever hear from them? Just how long was this process supposed to take, anyway?


Categories: Writing
  1. February 10, 2012 at 1:12 am

    Ahhhh you’re killing me! What happened? I am on pins and needles.

  2. February 22, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    Well? What happened??

    • February 23, 2012 at 6:34 pm

      Ha … you’ve got to love cliffhangers, huh? 🙂 I’ll be writing up the next part soon …

      Thanks for stopping by and reading!

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