Reaction isn't the right word for what's buzzing in my brain right now, but I wanted an alliterative title... I need Jessica's help.
What's the R word for "revision performance anxiety"? Or "complete and total revision panic attack"?
For those of you completely lost, ten days ago I got a "revise and resubmit" request from my personal top-pick agency. Like the only agency I ever wanted to query from Day 1 last year when I decided to pursue this novelist thing seriously.
But you don't just query one agency. That's crazy, right?
Still, every writer who's ever played a role in my life as a reader (or a writer) is handled by these guys, and working with them would be like... I don't know. Like the seal of approval as a novelist. Or something.
So it happened. They're giving me a shot. And ten days later, I still haven't started revising.
Oh, yes. I've made lots of notes. I've discussed it ad nauseum with crit partners and local betas and JRM. I've told them my ideas for approaching the requested changes and everyone's given helpful suggestions and been so super-supportive. ((big hugs))
And yet I sit here staring at the compuer screen. My throat's tight and it's possible my stomach has completely closed up. I can't seem to open the document...
What's the problem, right? I've worked as an editor for more than a decade. It's really not that big of a deal. Hello? Mountain? Molehill? Just do it already.
Well, I'll tell ya (as I told another crit partner who's vying for sainthood)... I'm not really sure where to begin. I mean, I've never revised a book before.
All my revisions have been on short, feature-length news stories. And that's just a matter of beefing up the lede and other things I won't bore you with here. The gist: it's pretty straightforward (and quick) work.
In this case I've been given some guidance but nothing terribly, terribly specific. And I feel very, very overwhelmed. Like throw-the-whole-thing-out-and-just-start-all-over overwhelmed.
... and well... There's this other thing...
I've been afraid to say it out loud in case somebody hears me. Come close and I'll whisper it... shh...
What if I do all this work, make all these changes, think I've got it perfect and then they come back and say, "Right. Well, nice try, thanks--Pass."
All that time, the energy, the neglect of family/friends/house/appearance/fitness... And in the end, They passed.
In my mind, the idea of that happening is, well, it's me under the desk for a month. At the very least.
Okay, now that I've reread all that, I look at it and think, "Who is this person? God, what a ninny! Just shut the whining and do it already."
You never know unless you try, right? And so what? What if they do say "no thanks" after all that and pass? Nothing ventured, man. It's not about the agency, it's about my ability to tell a compelling story that people want to read. These guys don't represent King or Grisham or Rowling and they all seemed to manage just fine.
And as my finger hovers over the "delete" key, I pause...
I know part of our blogging writers' community here is sharing this kind of stuff. So I hesitate to wipe out this pathetic mess of a post in favor of giving you something cheery and upbeat that will make you giggle.
Anybody else out there felt this way? Or feeling this way? Or got some advice for the ninny taking up space in my head?
Til Thursday... I'm opening the document now, dangit.
And if you need a giggle, here. I give you... well, I was going to give you some pining for the fjords. Instead I give you the Queen Victoria Handicap. Love~ <3