Sunday, January 9, 2011

Waiting and Astronauts


The difference between waiting and writing is only one letter. Coincidence? Hmm…

When I began my trek to publication, I had no clue how much of my time would be spent waiting. Waiting for inspiration. Waiting for my manuscript to “cool off” before I could edit it. Waiting for my mom to finish reading my latest draft. Waiting for agents to respond to query letters. Waiting for publishers to offer. Waiting for editorial letters. Waiting for feedback on my revisions. Waiting for copyedits. Waiting for typeset pages. Waiting for book cover designs…

Don’t get me wrong - I’m not complaining. While I admit that there were periods when I stalked my inbox, I would not change half a second of the time I spent maniacally clicking the refresh button. Who cares that I probably now have a heart condition because of all the times my heart skipped a beat because of spam? Those moments zipped by compared to the wait I had before I even wrote the first word of the book. That wait took more than thirty years.

When you’re a kid, everything seems so much larger – tables, shelves, math teachers. Only dreams come in your size. You carry them around in your pocket and proudly show them around to whoever is willing to have a look. I’m going to be an astronaut! I’m going to be a singer! I’m going to write books! No dream was too silly to say out loud. President of the universe? No problem.

It gets trickier as you get older. Childhood dreams no longer fit as comfortably in your palm, and become harder to hold on to. Mine slipped out and rolled under my office desk. The funny thing was, it took a while before I even noticed it was gone. If not for my kids, I still wouldn’t.

My son says he wants to make video games and my daughter is dead set on becoming a princess. What do I tell them? Of course. You can be anything you want to be. And as it turns out, if you say something often enough, you start believing it. Eat your broccoli - it’s good for you. Don’t pout - it will freeze that way. You can be anything you want to be. You can be anything you want to be. You can be anything you want to be.

I waited more than three decades to believe again, but I am most definitely not complaining. The wait made me want it more. In six months, I’ll be able to carry my dream around with me again (I’m not too sure about being able to fit a 304 page hardcover book into my pocket, but I’ll as sure as heck try…) and giddily show it off to anyone who is willing to have a look.

So how about you? Is there an astronaut in your pocket? And what are you waiting for?

8 comments:

Cathy Kozak said...

And the memories of childhood remain as big and bold and brassy as anything that's happened to me since!

Traci said...

Very clever post! And so true!

EQuanimity said...

The impossible just takes a little longer!

ocmominmanila.com said...

"Mine slipped out and rolled under my office desk." ... I found inspiration for my next blog - Corporate Dream-Killers

Scrollwork said...

Inspiring!

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Cathy - Childhood memories = priceless :)
Traci -Thank you!
EQuanimity - I couldn't agree more.
OCMom - LOL! Glad to know you found something useful under the desk. ;)
Scrollwork -Thanks!

Jennifer Hillier said...

Congrats on your shiny new blog, my fellow agency mate! Looking forward to stalking you here (er, following your progress). Our books come out a month apart... yay!

Re: dreams, mine slipped out and rolled under my office desk, too. I can so totally relate to waiting three decades before finally realizing that the gnawing feeling wasn't going to go away.

Congrats again on your book! Love the photo of your typeset pages. They look beautiful!

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Hey, Jennifer! Thanks! Good to see you here! Let's (try) and keep each other sane, okay? Pinky swear? :)