I’m trying not to worry unduly, but I’m feeling very doubtful that the agency news is going to be good. It feels like it’s taking too long. I wouldn’t think this but for the fact that I know two other writers who are signed to this same agency, and I know the timeline from the request for the full MS to the offer of representation was much tighter than the month I’ve been waiting to hear. In fact, one of them heard back in a couple of days. In fairness (and optimism), the agent who requested my full MS did explicitly say it might take a while to get back to me – but what is a while? I’m not sure, but this certainly feels like a while to me…
I’ve been asking Llew to clear out our P.O. Box downtown for a few days now. It’s on the same street as his office, and en route to the ferry wharf, so it should be a simple enough task. But it’s been getting lost in among Llew’s work pressures, which are back with even greater force than they had before we went away. He’s just got his own stuff to worry about, and I don’t think imagines for a moment how much this is plaguing me. I already know there’s one returned MS waiting for collection; what I want to know is, are there two? Have I not heard anything via email or phone because the MS was returned while I was away? It’s ENTIRELY plausible. And that’s what’s driving me crazy.
On the other hand, I was reading your always heartening words of encouragement today and Tuesday, and it occurred to me that I really do feel pretty fulfilled here at DoctorDi even though ostensibly there’s nothing in it except my writing and your reading. Of course I say ostensibly because in the case of my fellow bloggers, we do have the friendships – curious though they are to people who don’t engage in this way – that have built out of reading each other’s writing. And I know other friends of mine, some in Australia and others overseas, read this blog without commenting or letting me know that they do, and that’s lovely for me too, because it keeps us connected. Writing is and always has been an end in itself for me, the act is a force within me – I really don’t want to compare writing to urinating, but it’s that basic. When you’ve gotta go, you’ve gotta go, and not going is extremely bad for you. Well, that’s writing (and reading, like drinking water is to peeing) for me. So I don’t question whether or not I’d continue doing this even if all of you were to stop reading it, because the fundamental truth is that I would, of course I would, if not here exactly, then in a diary or letter or some other field of the written word.
So it’s an end in itself. Okay. This and recent conversations in the context of something else entirely have made me question why conventional publication is so important to me. It’s always been the Holy Grail: a novel, published by a reputable house with my name on the cover. I have dreamed of such a thing for most of the days of my life. That, I know, is because books really are holy to me, and the articles themselves precious. Properly published novels are the gold standard and they always will be. And yet I’m realising being recognised in this way is slowly sliding down the ranks of significance for me until I’m beginning to wonder if it really matters so much at all. When I read Grad’s comment the other day, and responded that it’s enough for me that she thinks this mystical thing will happen, I realised with a jolt that I really did mean it, which means I don’t need the mystical thing after all. I just need Grad. And the rest of you who find what I do here interesting enough that you come and spend some of your all too precious time with me. Isn’t that, finally, what it’s all about?
So this radical realisation on my own part is making me wonder about whether or not there’s merit in simply posting my MS here for those of you who are interested in reading it. Or uploading it on a ‘fiction for a fiver’ basis, or something like that, because I think Llew would have a total fit, and fair enough, if I simply published three years of work online. This is particularly because of the amount he’s worked to make it possible for me to spend that time writing it. It would be plain disrespectful to say, ‘Oh yeah, I just posted it on my blog, I decided not to worry about that whole publication thing.’ Anything I decide will be in consultation with him. But I’m just wondering. If all I really care about is trying to communicate something in writing that other people might like to read, then why not?
In other news, Australian writers have had a win, and it’s a biggie: the Government has found in favour of retaining parallel importation restrictions – hooray!