Sending off your manuscript is like standing at the school gate, watching the child you have brought into the world, nurtured and protected, wander away from you towards the schoolroom, to the start of a life no longer fully dependant on you. You have to let go, but it is with a mixture of emotions; pride and joy, yes, but tinged with loss and anxiety. Will they be ok? Will I be ok? A work written from your own heart is a piece of you, and it is a weird thing, giving your ‘child’ into the hands of strangers, knowing that it might come back to you changed. It took a great deal of determination to actually press the send button on that particular email to the publisher. But then it was gone, and I was left adrift slightly. Wandering around aimlessly for the next few days, wondering what to do with myself (apart from the housework, cooking and ironing, of course, which never miraculously disappeared, unfortunately).
But I needn’t have worried. My child was cherished and taken good care of. I received a reply in little over a week after sending the manuscript in. ‘We feel that the manuscript has real potential, and we would be delighted to offer you a contract for publication…’
What?! No! Really? I must have read that email three times, before shouting up to my husband in his home office – ‘I think I might have been offered a publishing contract!’ I don’t know what I expected to feel. I thought I would be overjoyed, elated, dance around the room happy. Instead, I felt suddenly overwhelmed and terrified, and confused, and perhaps ever so slightly excited. And then just thankful! As I acknowledged to God, that this was His doing, completely, and I would submit to His will, with a growing amazement at His goodness to me.
A few phone calls later, with a very patient and understanding editor, and the contract was signed. My dearest friend witnessed my signature. ‘Look,’ she said…’under where you have to sign is the title ‘Author’. You are a real author now!’ She was so excited, but it still hadn’t quite sunk in for me…