From Post Office to Publisher

Waiting for the First Reply

Well, it's been a couple of days since I handed over my words to the chap at the post office. The agent will definitely have received them by now. I wonder if the envelope has been opened yet...intriguing...

Wonder who will read it first? I have read all the usual horror stories about manuscripts being returned unread. I believe that, actually: I worked as a casting agent for a minute or two in the nineties and actors' letters were constantly being thrown away unread. I hope someone does read it though: I took the postage out of the food budget. My in-laws are coming over for roast chicken and I've stuck their chicken dinner to an envelope - monetarily speaking. I hope they will forgive me if I bung something cheap into the slow cooker and light some festive candles.

Writing in the Freezer

I'm quite excited to receive my first rejection letter actually. I hope it will have loads of handy suggestions in it. I'm leaving my manuscript with this first agent exclusively until next year when I'll start sending it out to all the suitable agents I can find. My printer is almost out of ink though so I'm hoping for some cash from rels at Crimble so I can buy ink and stamps. We can afford to keep the house heated until mid-January so it would be great to get some good news by then: I don't mind taking money out of the food budget for stamps but after a brush with hypothermia last month I'm too much of a wimp to steal from the heating budget too. I'm just going to have to get really good really quick: it's the only affordable option!

Jilly's Jolly

Wouldn't it be great if there were no rejection letters at all? I can hardly allow myself to imagine such a world. I spoke to Jilly Cooper about preparing myself for this bit of the journey: the bit where you send out millions of manuscripts and receive millions of rejections and she looked at me as if I were potty. She said that I will be published immediately and then said some really sweet things about why that may be the case... modesty forbids. She's nice like that. It would be wonderful if she were right though.

From what I gather, the important bit with an agent is that they know their stuff, love your work and you get along swimmingly so maybe rejections aren't a bad thing after all because they just help you cross people off the list and get closer to your perfect agent.

Well, I'd better hop off and tap out some words. I plan to finish the first draft of my second novel by mid-February so I need to get a wriggle on. I'll try to get 4,000 words down today. Wish me luck!

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Margaret Atwood

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My debut novel
Palaces and Calluses

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