In a most unusual alignment of events, three of my beloved crit partners are either *just recently* or *getting ready to go* on sub with projects. Being on sub is like living a double life--the regular life, in which you strive to go on with your daily routine (while forcing yourself to focus on your newest project), and the mind-numbing, toenail-biting, editor-stalking, email-dependent life of a writer on submission.
So, yeah. It's nice to be going through this en masse, as it were. I mean, what are the odds? So I'm thankful for the way things have turned out. It's always easier to speak encouragement to someone else who's going through the same thing, so now I have three friends on whom to focus, instead of myself.
Truthfully, though, I'm not as emotionally invested this time. (Been there, done that. Two steps away from the funny farm did not a pleasant Authoress make.) The longer the journey, and the more I've disciplined myself to Just Keep Writing, the more I'm able to compartmentalize the submission process. As in, it's over there in the corner, and I don't have to look at it if I don't want to.
If you're at the querying stage, you can make the same choice--set that querying process aside and focus on your next project. It really makes a difference.
I'm not pretending I don't think about it--I do. I research every editor whose name is new to me (which is most of them). I pop random, I-have-a-question emails to Josh. I check the spreadsheet to see if there's any new activity. (Oh my STARS, a spreadsheet. The anal retentive administrative assistant in me is deliriously happy!)
But overall? Not a huge force in my life. I love the story that's on sub (MG Fantasy--what's not to love?), and I believe that young readers will fall in love with my characters and their world, if only they are given the chance. I'm sure that, when I talk about my story, my eyes do all sorts of sparkly things. In the end, though, this is a project--a business proposition. And the only way to get through the submission process is to keep this perspective.
Have you made the mental shift? Do you view your stories as projects? Potential products in a difficult marketplace? Because that's what they are.
They're more, of course. They're our brains and our hearts and our childhoods and our todays and our dreams and our imaginations. But we've got to remove ourselves from all that once they're "out there". It's the only way to thrive during the process, instead of simply surviving.
So. How do you view your novels? Project or Extension-of-your-body? And if you're clinging too tightly, are you ready to let go?
Share! And have a lovely weekend.