Note: This is the second of six parts. Click here to read from the beginning.
My mind can be a bit like a computer when too many files and programs and browsers are open. It slows down and then it spins and spins and spins until it sorts it all out.
That’s what happened Saturday at Bay Path University’s Writer’s Day, which I attended with my intern Kayla Fontaine, a budding sci-fi author.
When we left at the day’s end, Kayla was inspired and clear headed. (More on that in a blog tomorrow.) I, on the other hand, reported to Suzanne Strempek Shea, Bay Path’s writer-in-residence who helps organize the day’s speakers, that my head was full, and I was overwhelmed. Suzanne told me that’s supposed to happen.
When I got in my car, the computer in my mind was already locked up, spinning endlessly.
I thought about what I’d learned from the agent and the author in the first session of the day about finding an agent and what to expect once one has taken you on as a client.
What I processed was, “I can’t do it. I don’t know how. I don’t have the time. I don’t want to.”
In the one-on-one session in which agent Elise Erickson of Harold Ober Associates, Inc. in New York City offered feedback on the first 25 pages of my manuscript in a 10-minute session, I had the same reaction: “I can’t do what she’s asking. I don’t know how. I don’t have the time. I don’t want to.”
Likewise, I worried about my skills and abilities and the lack of time in my life as I mulled over my new inspiration to apply for the Bay Path master in fine arts program.
As I drove, I sorted information like a hard drive.
In the 20-minute ride home, I realized I knew exactly what Elise was suggesting I do and that I knew I could do it and could find the time.
I knew as well that I would not find the time to search for an agent for this book and go through that process. I will hire an editor and self-publish—as I did before—and then plan my fantasy cross-country trip as a means to promote it outside the Valley. And I will hope that one day, I’ll be a full-time author who can tackle the grueling query process.
Finally, I know I can at least take the next step in terms of looking into the MFA program; I can find out how much it costs and if you can move through it on a slow track instead of inside two years.
My mind had officially reset.
In the coming weeks, look for blogs detailing what Kayla and I heard from the Writer’s Day speakers, and our thanks to the event organizers, Suzanne and Briana Sitler.
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