We’re talking about fools this month, and I was reminded of the way my blind optimism once led to my biggest “Gotcha” foolish moment on my road to becoming a published author.
After a rocky start with several rounds of revisions with my exciting new big-name agent, my first novel was finally out with a swoon-worthy list of publishers. As weeks and then months rolled by I imagined the silence we were hearing from the sub-list meant they were seriously considering making offers. After all, offers take time to put together, right? There could be MULTIPLE offers coming. So one morning when I woke up with that excited, “Today’s the day” intuition that I’d be hearing from my agent, I assumed he’d be calling with super-great-fantastic news.
My intuition was right. He did call. But it was not with good news. My breathless, “Hello?” when I answered the phone was met with a moment of silence, probably while he tried to figure out why I sounded so dang happy. He was calling to tell me that the manuscript that I’d worked on for two years had hit a dead end. He’d forgotten to forward me the rejection emails telling me of the growing doom along the way.
I tried to rally my positivity and optimism and hope and act like everything was fine, but WOW did that one phone call sting like a mother sucker. Talk about a roller coaster of emotions. But even that harsh experience couldn’t come close to squashing my dream or my certainty that I would one day be a published author. As this post is titled: pathetic level of optimism.
That agent half-heartedly shopped another book for me, but he clearly didn’t have much faith in it or in me at that point. I tried to keep hope alive, but our relationship eventually reached a point where he was like a boyfriend who was trying to make me break up with him with bad behavior: mean comments and ignored emails. Except that I wouldn’t break things off because I thought I could make him love me again. I also felt that having the wrong agent was better than having no agent at all. Wow, was I ever wrong!
He finally broke down and dumped me and within a few months I had multiple offers of representation on a shiny new manuscript. My new incredible amazing fairy-dust-filled agent sold that book, along with two more and she continues to be an encouragement and inspiration as she champions my evolving career. I finally got that super-great-fantastic news phone call and it was every bit as wonderful as I'd imagined!
I guess having bottomless buckets of optimism didn't make me so foolish after all. Now for that Best Seller I’m hoping for…