If you're a writer, there is nothing worse than the silence you have to endure after you've sent something off. It's bad enough if it's a short story, but if it's a whole novel that took you months, maybe years to write, the waiting period is pure agony.
You veer between optimism and despair. You scan your emails constantly, or pace impatiently as you wait for the postman to arrive each day, crossing toes and fingers that what you'll get is a letter-sized envelope rather than a large jiffy-bag addressed in your own hand. I have several of those jiffy-bags lying around in dusty corners, with their years-old rejection letters still inside. I am almost superstitious about them; it's as if touching them, or taking out those rejected manuscripts, will act like bad magic, draining all creativity from my system for ever and ever.
In this latest case, I sent off some synopses and outlines, having been - gasp - invited to do so by a publisher. How rare and lucky is that? The publisher in question actually tracked me down on the internet, having once worked for another publisher for whom I wrote six or seven books at least twelve years ago. I decided not to go away last week in case... well, in case I had that email saying, "Please could you write three sample chapters by Friday, when we have our meeting with the sales and marketing people." It's the S&M department (should I call them Fifty Shades?) upon whom all acquisitions depend. I have been warned that even if I write my sample chapters, I still might not get them accepted. But who wouldn't be willing to have a go?
Is no news good news? Well, it won't be if I have a nervous breakdown due to the sheer stress of waiting! I can't concentrate on a thing, I'm on an emotional see-saw, Mr Grumpy doesn't understand and wonders why I'm so moody. The only living creatures who sympathise are Flad and my fellow writers. Good luck to us all!
4 days ago