Monday, April 10, 2006

My BICHOK Weekend

No, that’s not the 2006 term for describing what a bitchin’ time I had this weekend. For you nonwriters, it’s the acronym for Butt In Chair, Hands On Keyboard. Get the picture?

Well, to be honest. Not so much on Saturday. But on Sunday, I planted myself at the computer around 9:30 a.m. and didn’t finish until 11. As in P.M. Even missed Desperate Housewives (which turned out to be pre-empted anyway—yippee!).

And, remember. I thought this manuscript was polished and ready to go.

Um. Not.

I mean, I actually came across places where I’d inserted blank lines to be filled in later. WTF? Didn’t I clear those up a long time ago? Or is a version of this sucker still hiding somewhere on my computer? Hm. Just thought of a place to look, dammit.

Nope. Not there, either.

(I really must come up with a better system.)

Anyway, outside of the mysterious gaps (there were about six) most of the stuff was cosmetic, i.e., tedious and boring to take care of. The good news is, I actually liked the book. Oh, I know I’m supposed to LOVE my own book, but trust me. When you’ve read it a bazillion times, its luster starts to dim. So when I actually found myself putting away the bag of Doritos before I’d completely finished it in order to get back to the computer…well, that tells you something, huh?

Bottom line, I learned a few things this weekend. Well, maybe I knew them before, but reinforcement is always good.

First, the work isn’t over when you type THE END. It’s not even over when you’ve read it a hundred times. ‘Cuz if you don’t put at least as much effort into SUBMITTING, chances are good that manuscript you slaved over will sit around on your computer forever.

Second, a handful of rejections is just that: a handful of rejections. Doesn’t mean the rest of the world won’t end up beating a path to your door as long as you keep querying. (Okay, I exaggerate. No one’s beating a path to my door, but simultaneous requests make it feel that way!)

Third, never give up. Even when the mailbox is empty day after day, the only email you get is for penis enlargement, and you’re pretty sure everything you’ve ever written is dreck.

It can all change with one letter, one email…one phone call.

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