Sitting here, waiting for my chicken thighs to boil, I was struck with a little epiphany. Like a mattress, you need help getting a book from point A to point B. Not following yet? Let me s’plain.
When I moved apartments within my building, I decided to move all by myself. Since I was paying double rent there was no rush. It took me 3 weeks using 3 boxes. (I never claimed to be overly logical. Entertaining, yes. Logical, not really.) On my last trip, I went down to the old apartment and dragged my bed apart and proceeded to haul a double-sized Ikea mattress down the hall all on my lonesome and promptly got it wedged in the stairwell (there were no elevators). It was there for a solid half hour until my friend saw me struggling with it and helped me. If it weren’t for her, it would’ve been a very long, very uncomfortable night.
I thought I could do this book from start to submission all by myself. Silly, silly San. I never understood what the cluster of people in the acknowledgments of other books actually did. Kind of like producers. What do they do?
Now I know they provide the very important beta reader test. Essentially, if I submit my manuscript at this point would I be the laughing stock of the publishing house or even worse, be tossed to the slush pile? Is it even worth sending in? You would have to be of Robert Lewis Stevenson or Mark Twain’s calibre. Even then I’m sure in the beginning they solicited opinions from someone they trust.
I learned my lesson and I’m humbled. The quality of my work may be enjoyable but by no means exceptional. I’ve pretty much done what I can on my own (with a hefty dose of encouragement and cheering from my super supportive friends and family) so it’s time to call in the enforcers. This is war on sloppy writing and unimaginative creativity.
I’m going to the mattresses.