Yesterday I met a new friend. She is a writer, and lives very close to me, but we didn’t meet (even online) until she was sent my way by a mutual friend of ours. But yesterday I got to meet her in real life, and it was everything I thought it could be.
During the course of our “get to know you” Barnes and Noble date, she asked me: “Do you feel like you’ve come a long way as a writer, or do you feel like you’re just getting started?”
I thought about that for about four seconds (which is about three seconds longer than I tend to think about things before I say them) and said: “I feel like I’m at the airport.”
She laughed. “Oh really?”
“Yeah,” I said. “I feel like I’ve gotten to the airport on time, checked in for my flight, and managed to get through security. Now I’m just waiting at the gate. I’m ready to get on the plane, but my flight keeps getting delayed.”
And that is really what it feels like to me right now. Driving to the airport is writing the book: It’s a long trip, and you get lost a couple times, but eventually you make it there. You type those final words.
Then you revise, and I don’t know how that fits into the metaphor. Waiting in the check-in line?
Checking in for the flight is like saying to yourself, “Hey, I freaking WROTE a BOOK. I’m really going to do this! I’m going to keep working until I get published!”
Security is your first massive challenge. This is when you start trying to get an agent. You research. You write a million drafts of your query letter. You write a synopsis of your book. You get rejected. The metaphorical metal detector keeps going off, over and over, not letting you through.
Then you FINALLY land an agent!! You’re in, baby! It’s happening!
And then you get to the gate, where the ticket people are standing there with clubs and axes, just waiting for you to make a move. DARING you to try to board the plane to the Land of Publication, where all your dreams will come true. You offer them your ticket and they chop off your arm. You try to push past them using sheer force and they smack you in the face with their clubs.
Okay, this is getting a little dramatic.
Anyway, this waiting area I’m in? It’s killing me. KILLING. ME. Where are you in the Writing Airport?