Monday, November 29, 2010

When I Grow Up…

When I was growing up, there was a whole host of nerdy kids that knew exactly what they wanted to be when they grew up.  I wasn’t one of them.  Nor was I part of the “click” set – those with the perfect looks and more perfect bodies. 
I fit in to that funny/sarcastic group.  I'd joke my way through school – sometimes at expense of others.  One of the best brains at work once told me that he had been captain of the chess club at his boys college; to which I replied “you got beat up a lot at school, didn’t you..?”
My point is that we each reach for that one thing that we want to be – even if it takes some of us longer than others to discover exactly what that is.
For me, initially, it was avoiding school.  I wagged whenever possible (usually to smoke and listen to Carole King) because I was bored and therefore hated school.  Then I fell into graphic design.  Then I fell into the internet.  Oh... And in between those things, I fell into marriage every so often.
At a particularly low point in my life, my best friend said to me: “write a book”.  In her head, that would fix everything.  She had written her way through all of the dramas life could throw at her.
I realised years later that the “write a book” line didn't exactly make me special, it fit every damned thing she saw wrong in anyone’s life.  Didn’t matter if they could write or not.  God love her.  She still says I’m the only one that actually did it.  I shudder to think who she threw that line at; and how many people with nothing to say actually sat at the computer for hours on end, waiting for inspiration to hit.
If you think I am writing this to thank her, trust me… I’m not.  I’d have done better to have wanted to be an astronaut – except I’ve no intention of going anywhere that has no air.  Or maybe president of the U.S…?  Mostly I suspect I’d have had a better shot at those things than making it as a writer.
It is that vicious circle.  Can’t get published, until you are published – what the hell..? 
So, there is little money to invest in new writers..?  Does that mean the world has to exist on who we already have..?  And lets face it, it’s all based on variables.  If you write romance and send off your manuscript (all perfect, single sided, double spaced) – and your perfectly beautiful romance lands on the desk of someone who just found a bunch of text messages from some skank on her husband’s phone – well… I’m tipping she’s not going to feel overly romantic; and your book is not going anywhere.
So given all these variables, you can imagine that you take whatever crumbs you can grab along the way.  The ‘just write a book’ girlfriend happens to be an established writer.  She sent me a contact to send my book to; and I printed it out (all perfect, single sided, double spaced) and sent it off.
Five months – no reply.  This is usually good - unless it is lost.  So I email my girlfriend to say “I haven’t heard from the editor.  Should I email to ask if they received it?”
Several emails later; we discover why I may not have a reply as yet.
She gave me the wrong name.
Yeah – thanks Isa – just torture me a little more!  Write a book my ass!

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Thanks. Better check it out but it should be up today!