I’m tellin’ ya’ – this whole flu season nonsense is beyond annoying. I’m the person who always gets the disease right out of the gate – so there’s not even a chance of me getting that silly shot first. So then I think, “Am I just wasting my time, money, immune system, etc. by getting this shot after the fact? Is it just the drug companies trying to separate me from my hard-earned cash? Should I get french vanilla whipped cream for my coffee again, or should I try the chocolate even though it might be weird and gross? Should I be putting quotation marks around my own thoughts in a written sentence?”
My actual point is that fighting off the flu this past week took me out of this amazing writing zone I was in. My facebook friends and tweeps will know what I’m talking about; the whole writing cave tangent I was on during my day job birthday vacay. Then, I had to drag my sorry behind back to work just in time to feel like crap all day, but because I had just had seven days off – I couldn’t very well take a sick day! What with me supposedly being in charge and everything. HA!
So, it was slog through work, come home, have dinner, fall into bed, rinse and repeat for the last six days. Bye bye zone.
I feel loads better now; there is a lot to be said for making yourself go to bed early and getting rest. I also managed to thwart a full-on weird flu-virus invasion on my person. So you know what this means: time to get back in the zone!
It was incredible. I got back to this place I haven’t been in since I was in middle school/early high school and obsessively writing every day. I couldn’t be stopped. Oh, there were science teachers, math teachers, friends, bullies, Barbie dolls, parents and all manner of enemies trying to stop me – but I found my way around them and their evil plotting. When I was shipped off to the lake in summertime to see my grandmother and aunt – I would spend entire stretches of the day ignoring swimming in the lake, berry picking, kayaking, fishing, tree-climbing, walking in the woods, marshmallow roasting and even bingo with free donuts & Kool Aid on Wednesday nights in favor of writing the latest installment in the “Wren the Detective” series. Yikes.
After sending my first novel with the awesome title “The Syndicate Fury” off to William & Morris (sorry, I had to stop for a moment, I was laughing so hard I thought the tears might fall on the keyboard and short it out), I waited for months for the reply that would announce that I had my first of what I assumed would be many publishing deals. You may find it hard to believe (I know I did) that I received a form rejection letter.
One interesting side note that my 14 year-old brain couldn’t grasp the enormity of: at the end of the form letter was a hand-written note from the editor explaining that they didn’t publish young adult fiction (my story was along the lines of Harriet the Spy), but that my writing was very good for someone my age, and that I should send it to one of their subsidiaries that published YA.
If it were now, I would literally pee myself in excitement over a letter like that from William Morris. All I could see at that time though, was that I didn’t get what I wanted: a multi-million dollar publishing deal and my writing career set in stone; game, set and match. I should have had a mentor. I shouldn’t have been so solitary. Any pat on the back would have been cool. I was a kid that subscribed to Writer’s Digest and Writer’s Market and thought I could just figure it out all on my own.
I sort of gave up after that. I never sent it on to the other publisher using the name of that editor, as he had invited me to. Something about that experience knocked me completely out of the zone, and even though many times over the years I would have epiphanies of ideas – I never got beyond a brief synopsis or a chapter or two. Or I would re-read it and be disgusted and discard it. It could have been the rejection, the ensuing grip of rock music, boys or who knows what. I couldn’t get it back.
This last week was just a lame flu bug; certainly nothing to threaten my continued writing flow. It took at least a decade of focusing on my writing to get back to this point, but that’s ok. I’m back. Back in the zone.