The One. It could mean anything, but it also means everything. The One is all you need for a breakthrough into publishing. One article. One book. One pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small (gotta love Grace Slick, ya’all!). In this post, I’m referring to that first story that is The One to push an author over the fence and into the glory land of being published.
It’s what we, as writers, aspire to. At least most of us. Why else would we subject ourselves to the constant rejection and judgment of beta readers and critique groups, literary agents and editors? We must be crazy!
Crazy in love with storytelling, that is!
My goal has never been to get published. Heck, as a magazine writer and editor, I’ve been down that road and it’s all fine and dandy. But as a fiction writer, all I ever wanted to do was create worlds, experiment with new things I’d otherwise have little experience with, and entertain people who needed something else to do besides regular life. If getting published was a part of that process, then so be it. And so it was to be… because after doing the literary agent dance and actually snagging one, I found myself terrified that I could very well have The One in my computer this minute… the story to end all stories. The one that makes the hairs stand up on the back of an editor’s neck and create electric jolts that make their fingers dial my agent’s number. Yeah, that’s what I’m afraid of.
A friend of mine pointed out that dread is sexy. Well, dreading successful publication is the ultimate sexy where writing is concerned. I’ve got all the dread in the world because my second story, SWELL, is going out on submission next week and everything feels different from when APITL took flight in January. Like the atoms are mixing around, the bells are ringing, birds whistling, and…. I’m nervous. Okay, little old me nervous? Yes! And you should be too if you’re out on sub, or about to be. Because The One could very well be around the corner, waiting to jump out and surprise you at any moment.