I finished my book. What now?

I suppose there is at least this reality: I am never short on papers to grade, lessons to plan. And that’s the danger I’m facing. While writing a book (particularly when you’ve never published or book or much of anything at all) involves a massive amount of faith and nerve, teaching is something I have a history of success in. It is very tempting to soothe the fears uncovered by the process of writing and rewriting my book, a book that at times unearthed acute personal pain, with retreating into what I know best.
I am resisting that temptation. I will grade those papers and plan those lessons, of course. However, I am also stepping ever further in the direction of the unknown by attempting to find an agent to represent my work. Using Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors, and Literary Agents (2011) along with sites like agentquery.com and simple Google searches for criteria like “agents Pacific Northwest”, I am going where this woman has not gone before. It is a time-consuming and tedious process that feels sometimes like throwing dimes into glass ashtrays, but I have sent out 50 queries so far. I will press on, exhaust all my resources, thought I want to be writing again, have a second book strong in mind.
Writing is a practice of faith. For me that sometimes means letting go of the fear that if I am not currently writing, I may forget how. I feel this same way about other practices, other passions. If I take a week off running, will I ever go back? If my life makes the regular practice of yoga near impossible (which often happens in the ebb and flow of other demands on my time) will the loss be permanent?
So now I get the center of my faith. Having faith as a writer must come from a commitment to the necessity of the moment, a letting go of worries about the past or the future.

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One thought on “I finished my book. What now?

  1. I hope you are having luck seeking publication for your book, Liz. It’s a big accomplishment. I’m glad to find your blog and look forward to seeing what you’re reading next!

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