A fancy black box sits in front of me. Glenmorangie Signet, a single malt Scotch Melissa bought for me a few years ago as a Christmas present. It’s one of the most expensive bottles of Scotch I’ve ever had, and it’s been unopened for years. When I received it, I knew I wanted to hold onto it for something special. I said I would not open it until I received some really great news with regards to my writing career.
Last night, I got to open it.
It might be a little bit premature. It’s great news, and I’m euphoric, but it’s not like I actually have a signed contract or a publication date. Just an acceptance letter with a ballpark timeline of late 2023. The novel in question is The Repossessed Ghost, which I’ve talked about on this blog quite a bit. I wrote it about 10 years ago, and I don’t mind waiting most of a year to see it in print. Because it will be in print, and all of the possibilities that follow from that are opening up.
I’m feeling hopeful again. I haven’t felt that for a little while, now.
To be perfectly honest, I gave up. I thought about the submission last week, wondering if I should ping them, since it had been several months. I love The Repossessed Ghost and think it deserves to be in the world, but I was preparing myself emotionally to just let it go.
I don’t have to bury it. I will actually see it in print, and I’m going to be able to give a copy to my mother-in-law. She’s been asking about it, wondering when she’ll get to read it. Now I can tell her: at the end of 2023.
I am not expecting this to become a New York Times bestselling novel. I will not earn enough money on this book to be able to quit my job and change my lifestyle. It’s a fun book that some people will enjoy for a little while. It will be the answer I can give when I tell people I’m a writer, and they ask where they can read my work.
It’s a success. Where I find one success, I’m encouraged to look and find more successes.
When I’m querying my other novels, I’ll be able to mention my short story in an anthology, and my novel with this small, independent publisher.
Another possibility that delights me: if enough people actually enjoy The Repossessed Ghost, I will write another story in that world with those characters. I have a whole series of ideas. I was never going to write anything else in that world until the first book went somewhere.
A lot of us are writers, and we’re all people on this path. Some are further along than others, and the path is different for all of us. This feels like progress. When I’m not writing, feeling too exhausted and hopeless to approach the story, those are the times when I’m lost in the dark. This feels like I’ve found the path again.
I’m going to write more. And it isn’t in vain.
I’m a writer. I’m hopeful.
Time to get back to work.