Which brings us to the now. MACHINATIONS is currently on submission to agents, which means my days usually go a little like this:
1. Wake up at 6:30. Feel great about the world. Feel hopeful about life.
2. Get onto the computer. Check email. No responses yet. Okay! No news is good news, right?
3. Research some more agents. Send out a few more queries. Start to wonder if my query is good enough.
4. It's fine.
5. Are you sure?
6. Yes. Stop overanalyzing this.
7. Go about the rest of my day, avoiding the dark shadows of my mind that like to hiss and spit venomous thoughts like, there's not enough voice in your query letter and who are you kidding this manuscript isn't good enough and you're not good enough and maybe you could just take another look to be on the safe side and also you should get dressed you bum
8. Get dressed. I am not a bum!
9. Probably work on a puzzle. Puzzles are great. I'm especially fond of the Cobble Hill brand. 10/10, would recommend.
10. Wonder about my plot synopsis. Is it up to snuff? Too short, too long? Does it show the proper character arcs?
12. Yep. It's good. Be happy with it.
13. Think about it some more. Be less happy with it.
14. Remind myself to stop being so critical.
15. You stop being critical.
16. Well, I'm not the one who's arguing in a numbered list with themselves.
17. YES YOU ARE THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT YOU'RE DOING
18. Stop being crazy (temporarily). Maybe watch some TV. Shark Week, baby!
19. Or Netflix. Let's not talk about my sudden and overwhelming need to watch New Girl, which I proclaimed to hate when it first came on.
20. Read off and on throughout the day. Currently, I'm reading three books concurrently because I am indecisive and also because I do what I want, Thor! Also also because there are so many good books out right and I want to read all of them. All the books.
21. Youtube. Facebook.
22. Think about what I want to write next. Get excited about it.
23. Still no response from the agents yet.
25. Shut up, brain.
26. Watch Primetime TV with family. Depending on quality of entertainment, make snobby comments about how British television is better. Probably mention that [insert show here] would be better with the addition of Idris Elba and/or Oded Fehr.*
27. SHARK WEEEEEEEK
28. Read some more.
29. Jammy time.
30. Go to bed, dream of
31. Wonder what a sugar plum fairy is. Sounds about a step above the diabetes fairy. Ohoho, think myself so clever.
32. Fall asleep.
And then wake up and do it all over again, basically.
All kidding aside, the query process is no laughing matter. It's hard work and I am taking it very seriously. Humor is just the best way I've found for coping with the pressure and the otherwise crippling self-doubt. Just got to keep your head above water and keep treading! Persistence pays off. At least that's what all the writer forums keep telling me, and I'm electing to believe them. For any of you also on submission at the moment, or anywhere else in the process of getting published, good luck! Stay strong!
* It's true, though. For any show, really.
~Author's note: In this list, I have elected to leave out all instances of eating, in which there are many. It seemed superfluous. Also Reeses-flavored everything might frequently be involved.