Even though it’s taken a long time to write, and even though it seems that I’ve climbed mountains to get to this point, it’s still been baby steps. I’m not saying that it hasn’t been difficult. It’s hard getting past that infernal ‘writer’s block’ and it’s tedious checking out background facts. But so far, it’s been walking on a level floor. I’m walking, but not actually leading anywhere. If I stopped now, I’d be no further ahead than I was thirteen years ago when I started this undertaking.
But last week, I sat in the coffee shop, nervously awaiting the arrival of a lady I hadn’t met other than through our emails. I’d already asked two people if they were her. My partial manuscript sat on the table before me, hoping that would signal her to come to my table. It worked and before long, a very friendly lady sat with me, walking me through the intricate workings of an editor.
She praised my writing style, was excited that I had three manuscripts completed, and even liked that I’ve started another. Publishers, she explained, love it when an author has a series. It means they’re in it for the long haul.
We agreed that we were a great fit. She likes my style, my ideas, and thinks it stands a good chance in the marketplace. I like her personality, her presentation, and the fact that she’s worked for a large publishing house that has recently produced a giant blockbuster young adult series of seven books from a then-unknown author.
So we shook hands, parted company for the time being, and I floated home on a cloud. An interrupted phone call to my best friend, and the phone call back to her started out with “I’m sorry I didn’t get back to you right away. That was my editor calling.” What fun!
And I realized that all those baby steps were leading to the stairs and my baby is now on the first step up. Looking up that flight is scary. There’s a lot to learn and do to get to the top. I realize now that even the publisher isn’t at the top. That’s just a landing. Maybe the public is the top. Perhaps this is a staircase that never ends. There will always be something to reach for on it!
But I’m starting upwards. Baby is learning to climb stairs.