Sunday, June 13, 2010

Deflated Balloon Seeks Air and Confidence

I’ve been blessed to receive amazing feedback from a handful of people reading the book draft.

My sister, Tessa, wrote: I'm so glad Paul's out fishing and the girls are both still sleeping — because I've been sobbing nonstop. I just finished your book. Words can't quite relay all the emotions it stirred in me. You have such a way of writing that I could visualize the characters faces, mannerisms, and even the tones of their voices (if that's possible).

My brother left me a voicemail to say he stayed up all night to finish it — something he hasn’t done with a book in a very long time. He also said it was “fucking amazing.”

So, I soak in these comments and smile deep down from my soul, and then the nasty little judging voice says, “They’re your family. What do you expect them to say?” I reply, “They’d be honest if the book didn’t work.” And the nasty judge, “No, they wouldn’t.”

And after a few rounds with nasty judging voice, I resemble a balloon after the air has escaped. Limp, lifeless and a thousand miles from the nearest helium tank.

Husband thinks I should just start querying, even before my writer’s group gives me feedback (which is July 28). I vacillate. I’m proud enough of the manuscript to want to start querying literary agents. I’m terrified enough to think I should wait for more feedback.

The worst thing about deflated balloon limbo state is that your confidence goes to sh**.

And, so when I get in these moods — the one I’m in now — I go back and read Tessa’s email to me. Especially the last line which is like life-giving air to this tired old balloon.

I can see the front cover so clearly, Mandy. Be ready — because this could be very BIG!!!!!!!!


  1. I'm sure the raves are well deserved! If you're confident the manuscript is polished, start sending out queries. By the time agents get back to you it may be close to your writer's group meeting, and then you could do tweaks if necessary. And if an agent loves the query and asks you for the manuscript before then, you probably don't need the tweaks anyway!

  2. It's too good a read not to share with the world. I'm sis-in-law and this is my honest opinion.