Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Teri and the Book Propsal

It's no secret that I'm a ferocious avoider. I can out-avoid anyone. I have been known to walk a mile or more to go to a different store if I feel I've managed to embarrass myself at a store a few block away. I've had letters and phone messages I wasn't sure about sit, undealt with, on my machine or counter for weeks or months. I actually had my contact lens prescription for my left eye expire before I was able to pick them up because I felt a bit weird that I only had the money to buy the right eye at the time. I once even climbed out of a bathroom window in high school just to avoid a person—who didn't even know me.

When I was originally writing my manuscript, I knew that in order to present it to publishers, I had to produce a book proposal. A book proposal is basically a long sales document describing your book, audience size and composition, and how (well) it might sell. I began to write mine early on, caught up in the spirit of getting things done, and trying to go against another part of my nature...to procrastinate (I come from a proud line of procrastinators, just ask my dad). A deadly combination when mixed with avoiding, let me tell you. But I decided to face the beast, and write the document.

I wrote and wrote. And one day, when still facing the bulk of it yet to go, I decided, true to my avoiding nature, that maybe doing the book myself might be the way to go after all. So I got to work on designing the book and getting it edited to print it on my own. In part to avoid writing the scary book proposal.

And then the universe gave me a huge gift, one too amazing to avoid...I got an agent. Who then needed a book proposal to give to the publishing companies she was approaching.

I have heard that the universe gives you lessons, and it will keep giving you a lesson over and over until you learn it. Thus it seemed to be with the book proposal.

I wrestled with myself for weeks, but prevailed, and finally finished the proposal. Thinking it was now out of my life for good, I gave it to my agent. I was so relieved to hand it over! It was almost like I felt the more I touched it, the more potential there was that I might mess it up. Like my proposal was a new baby bird and I had puffy mitten-hands. I was almost afraid to look directly at it (in my defense, this was the document that went haywire in Fire and the Infinite Loop, so I'm not completely a wackadoo about that one).

Late last week the proposal came back to me once again for a few more adjustments. I have a feeling this will be a lesson the universe may have to give me a few dozen more times (or more). Maybe one day I'll finally learn to face things head on the first time, instead of going around the block to avoid it, only to find it waiting for me there around the corner.


Anonymous said...

I'm so happy that everything is rolling right along. I know procrastinating can make things harder - but just stick with it. I can't wait to get my hands on your book!

Jenteel said...

as an emerging writer
i get the avoidance factor
congrats to you on overcoming your fear!
and impending book!!

Anonymous said...

Ahhhh... what is the story behind this???? "I once even climbed out of a bathroom window in high school just to avoid a person—who didn't even know me." You MUST share!!

"a new baby bird and I had puffy mitten-hands.... this is really neat imagery :o)

Anonymous said...

yea i sometimes experience that avoidance feeling... actually a lot lately. i cant wait for your book to come out!

Former Mushroom-Haired Child said...

uneekdiva, jenteel, and rae1234: thank you for your encouragement! I'm glad to hear I'm not the only writer who tends to avoid. Yes, I will be *so* glad when the book is out!

SG: Yes, the climbing out of the window is quite a story, one where I come out looking rather...loopy for having done so. Perhaps a future post...

Unknown said...

The part about the deadly combination kept me laughing for so long i didn't know what to do with myself.You really do have a good sense of humor!!Very funny but i personally am not a procrastinator at all.I like doing things and getting it over with so much that i have heard lots of people tell me to take things a bit slow and not to worry if SOME time passes by before doing it.But i know i will never change.Guess different personalities make interesting people.CAN I JUST SAY I LOVE READING ALL YOUR BLOGS!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm not happy to say that, I know EXACTLY how you feel. I've got avoidance down like a science. A science I'll never understand. And at 43yo I don't know if I'll out grown it. hehehehe Now on the other hand my husband, of many years, has got it done yesterday.

I enjoy your blog