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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My Life in a Holding Pattern

No one has ever accused me of being too patient so it's probably no surprise to anyone that I'm a wee bit frustrated this week. Why? Well, a number of areas of my life seem to be in a holding pattern at the moment. Perhaps there's some progress going on somewhere behind the scenes but it's invisible to me. Physically, recovery from surgery doesn't seem to be happening. Professionally, I'm on pins and needles waiting to hear back from my dream agent, who requested the full MS of Chupacabra just over a month ago.

Perhaps I'm being unreasonable to expect that 9 days after surgery I should be back to normal, but when the doc says, "You'll be feeling better in a few days and up and around by next week," I hear, "You'll be pain free and up to your normal activity level." True, I've only had minor surgery in the past, so don't know what I'm comparing this current recovery with. Both of those were more than 10 years ago. Maybe I was a bit more resilient then. Maybe those were less invasive and in less sensitive areas than the abdomen. But I'm still pretty fit and think I should be able to walk for more than 4-5 minutes without pain. What a pansie I am! And I'm all ready panicking about vacation. What if I'm not fully recovered in 18 more days when we leave for Costa Rica? What if I can't go zip lining? How am I ever going to get into bathing suit shape if I can't do sit-ups and lift weights? I want to be over it and I want to be over it NOW.

Of course, if I think positively, I know I'm already feeling better than I did. I just have to have some patience, trust my body to heal and give it all it needs to recover. Mostly, I should try to enjoy my down time. This is what I was looking forward to for all those months anticipating the surgery and post-surgery bed rest. Wasn't I the one who said I couldn't wait to climb into my bed and not get out again for at least 2 weeks, if not more? For this holding pattern, I need to chill out and let it be.

On the professional side, I've been quite surprised at how very stressful it is to get a MS request, not just from any-old-agent but from THE agent who I'd pick if it was up to me. I'd settled into a very comfortable routine of sending out queries, maybe a follow up few chapters, then the polite "thanks, but no thanks" rejection letter. Stressful, sure. But I know that's how it goes. Stephen King amassed some 400 rejections before an agent picked up Christine. I'd grown comfortable with that routine. I set a schedule: research the agents I'd query for 2-3 months. Query for 6 months, a few at a time. If I got no hits, query indie publishers. I know Chupacabra is good. I believe it can sell, and I believe there's an agent. publisher, and market for it. I just need to be persistent. That's how far my plan extended. I'd never made a contingency for an agent asking for the full MS.

She did. And now my life is in a holding pattern. I don't want to continue querying while she's reading, and I don't know how long I should wait before I send a note asking where things stand. Maybe I'm afraid of what the answer will be? I've been far more anxious waiting to hear from her than I've ever been about waiting for that first response from an initial query. I'll be devastated if I get a "thanks, but no thanks" even though I know, realistically, those are the odds.

I also know I have to suck it up and send that follow up email. If nothing else, it'll jolt me out of this holding pattern and let me move on with my queries. Or, move her to take a closer look and offer me a contract. But, I don't want to risk jinxing the process by even considering that. Except it's too late for that. I'm already considering it. The thought makes me anxious, giddy, and nauseated all at once.

I suppose it's time to do something about it and get things moving forward, at least on this front!


  1. Recovery takes time! It's normal to be tired after 4-5 minutes. That's why you do it several times a day. Every day you will be able to go a little further and feel a little bit better, but it's not a race. Just relax. You will go on your trip. It will be what it will be and regardless you will have fun. You are right where you are supposed to be!

  2. Thanks, Hanna! My rational brain knows I'm expecting too much too soon, but the rest of me is impatient!

  3. I felt the same way. Engage with books and movies. It helps distract you!

  4. Good advice. Working my way through season 3 of Doc Martin now. Next on tap: season 2 of Downton Abbey.

  5. Lynne, Things happen in our lives for a reason. I know you hate down time,however that is what we need sometimes to grow. Chill by the pool and relax. You will be well in good time. MUAH!!!!!

    Connie D