Hard to believe another year has passed. This year’s birthday is a tad bittersweet, as it brings me even closer to a milestone birthday next year.
On it’s own, hitting that milestone isn’t too scary. But as far as writing goes, there’s a part of me that saw next year’s birthday as a career goalpost, a best before date to have a novel published by.
Newsflash: that’s not going to happen.
It takes about one-and-a-half to two years from selling a book to a publisher to seeing it in stores, which means even if I sold a book tomorrow (which would be difficult, since I don’t have anything out on sub right now), it still wouldn’t be in stores before my self-imposed deadline. (Yes, Fun with Frosting moved faster than this, but it was a) not a novel and b) an exception.)
So, I’ve had to adjust my expectations. At best, I can hope for a publishing contract (*crosses fingers* *throws pennies in fountains* *blows out all the candles*) by next year. After all, I just handed in my revised YA to my agent, and with any luck I’ll be on sub by the end of the summer.
But the good news is, there’s no best before date on a writer’s career. It’s not like a pro athlete, or dancer, or even an actress (there are scandalously few roles available for older women). Many writers write into their old age (one of my favourites, P.D. James was still writing in her nineties), so the pressure I’m feeling is all of my own making.
All I can really do is keep writing and revising, until I get the right manuscript in the hands of the right editor at the right time.
Until then, I’m going to be over here, stress-eating my way through my leftover birthday cake, waiting to hear back from my agent on my most recent set of revisions. Wish me luck.