Thursday, January 12, 2006

Reading the runes....

I have reached that point in the waiting game I call "reading the runes." My editor still hasn't finished reading my last submission. She hopes to get back to me next week. I think she started to read it and then had other things to do.

At least, that's what I hope. What I really dread is that (a) it was so boring, she stopped reading or (b) she's read it, thinks it sucks and is trying to figure out how to tell me.

I have a reason for those fears, because at some point during my career, they've happened.

Now, it's much more likely that my editor had other books requiring her attention more urgently than mine. Nevertheless, in my irrational moments, the worry takes over, and I start "reading the runes." She could say, "It looks like rain," and in my mind, that really means "Big revision coming your way!" It's like stalkers who think people on TV are sending them secret signals, and about as sane.

Unfortunately, that's the downside of a vivid imagination: I have absolutely no problem imagining (vividly) worst case scenerios. This isn't just when it comes to writing, either. Kids a little late coming home? The images that flood my mind! You know those people interviewed after a disaster or serious crime or health issue who say "I never thought it could happen to me?" I am their polar opposite. I have no trouble imagining such things happening to me or my family.

I cannot help it. I was born this way.

But I look at this this way, too: if I wasn't a writer, I'd still be a "worrier." My talent is my curse; my curse, my talent. I wouldn't have one without the other.

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