I have once again entered the Great Void – and so, in order to take my mind off it, and give my still-twitching keyboard fingers something to do, I have decided to write a diary (I tried doing a “vlog” about a year ago, but it really was too much like hard work).
The Great Void will be well-known to any writer who aspires to be published. It consists of those unbearable weeks between a) sending off your manuscript to an agent and b) finding out whether they think it’s any good or not.
If the answer is yes, then your dream is still alive and you can move on to the next phase.
If the answer is no, it has been strangled at birth. Furthermore, you have just wasted the last four-to-six months of your life.
In the last 12 months I’ve acquired a new agent, and in that short time she has already given short shrift to the first two novels I sent her.
I have higher hopes for this one, which I emailed to her earlier this week – although the wearying dread of rejection pervades. Last week I actually went to see her in London, because we hadn’t actually met. And while she seemed very nice, and I think we got on, it was a muggy day and I was sweating suspiciously after a strenuous walk down the Strand, so who knows what she thought of me.
She says the manuscript is now on her Kindle, but that due to the weight of submissions she is unlikely to read it for at least a fortnight.
I’m pretending to stay cool, but after 10 years of the Great Void my wife can spot the signs a mile off. She has already asked me to move some mattresses into the garage. Soon she will ask me to tidy the garage – a task with is both Herculean and Sisyphean at the same time.
Hence the need to occupy myself on my own terms.
Hence the diary.