A year ago last week is the day I got "the call"--the one from my agent that said there had been an offer on my manuscript.
It started out as an email first, actually, with just a subject line: "Call me." Right away, I kinda knew something unusual must be happening. My agent didn't usually call to discuss rejections: she just forwarded them to me or kept me posted on the progress report. I was at work (on a particularly busy day) so I snagged a conference room, and with my heart somewhere in my throat, dialed her number.
I would be lying if I said I hadn't imagined that call (or, really, that email) for a long, long time. I always thought I'd cry. The funny thing was: I didn't. I was too shocked. I called a few key people and told them in a shaky voice. And then I had to go back to work (which was basically completely impossible, by the by). And then I was struck with a sense of, now what? Do I tell people? What if I tell people and it falls through? OMG, what if it does fall through? Even with those thoughts rapidly chasing themselves around in my head, I had a huge dopey grin on my face.
So. What have I learned in the past year? Lots of things. For example, contracts and advance checks take a LOT longer than I ever expected. (Mine came after I had turned in all my edits...and that's pretty normal!) You can absolutely still get rejections and have insecurities and all those other things that were happening before you were getting published. Writing is hard and requires a time commitment and sacrifices and sometimes tearing your hair out in frustration...just like it always did.
But there's something I wrote in my very first post on this blog that is probably the truest thing I've learned from this experience: it's not everyday that a major, lifelong dream comes true. And no matter what little snags or frustrations come along, I've never lost sight of that sense of wonder and gratitude. And I hope I never do. I hope that wherever life takes me, whatever work I'm doing 10 or 20 years from now, or whatever has happened along the way by then, I'll never forget that on August 31, 2010, something truly wonderful happened to me.
I'm humbled. And thankful. And still a little shocked...I know this because, after all this time, I still haven't cried!