I always loved that part in Little Women, when precocious young Amy sagely advises her older sister, “You don’t need scores of suitors. You only need one. If he’s the right one.”
I think in that way, publishing a book is a lot like hunting for a husband.
In the midst of all the silence, the form letters and even the occasional blatant “what in the hell were you thinking” rejections, literary agents and publishers are forever repeating the same encouraging phrase. “Even though it’s not true love for me, somewhere out there, someone might love it.” Someone. Somewhere. Someday.
Though I was never what kids these days refer to as a “player,” I did have my share of dating adventures. I had a small handful of “Oh my god, what in the hell was I thinking” moments, and one or two brushes with “almost love” before I finally found the right one. But mostly? It was a whole lot of “not quite.” Not here. Not now. Not yet.
Now, I’m sure at this point most of you have grasped the metaphor, so I won’t go into too much detail. But I will say that through all the moments of agonizing, self-inflicted despair, the waiting, the hyper-analyzing every little scrap of information… the pacing and the binge-eating… when it comes right down to it?
It only takes one. Now, let’s just hope it’s the “right” one.
(This is my “right” one. Go figure.)