Tuesday, March 30, 2004

How funny. Here in this space designed to share details, I feel reticent to write a word. As if millions of eyes are peering in ready to laugh and criticize what I've written. I'll be lucky if the people I told about this space are reading it.

Monday I sent off novel #2 to my agent. Novel #2 is the one voted "most likely to have a commercial premise" though novel #1 is what got my agent interested in me. The funny thing about working on a commercial premise is that you are constantly aware of the reader, the phantom reader, peering over the fence while you write...perhaps that is a parallel experience to the eyes that make me hesitant to write here. Commercial = made appealing to the masses = not too heavy on the pretty language, but very conscious of plot lines and happy endings. I guess it is the dilemma artists who want to succeed (financially) face...Sometime this week the book will land in the agent's hands. He will take it home and it will affect his weekend one way or another. Decisions will be made. Do I need to put more work into it? Is it ready to greet the ever more discerning eyes of publishers, those flightly, tricky creatures? And meanwhile, I'm here, wondering, waiting. Oh I know, it's a piddly problem. But this here is a writer's blog on her writing practice and experience.

In August I will be thirty. I remember reading an interview with author Mary Gaitskill where she said that at the time she hit thirty she still was relatively unsuccessful in publishing (hey, like me!) and it occurred to her, after the initial panic that she would never make it, something to the effect of "hey, I have other skills...there are things to fall back on!" This seemed a very promising quote when I read it. I mean, I DO have other skills to fall back on (rest assured, grandma and grandpa)...but you know what? I don't want to fall back on anything else. And as I sit in novelist limbo waiting to see if I've passed another gate, that answer feels more definitive than ever.


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