I’m a sucker for a Groupon. Apparently I’m not the only one in my family, since my brother just got back from a Groupon-trip to Japan.
I haven’t traveled internationally on a Groupon (yet), but I have bought Groupons for restaurants, hair salons, wine tastings, Escape Rooms, barre classes, and even the Renaissance Faire.
Back in January, I bought a Groupon for tickets to the Weezer concert that is happening this Friday at the Jiffy Lube Live amphitheater. Only $20 to see one of my favorite bands!
But, sucker that I am for a deal, I didn’t take into account that the venue is 40 miles away, and that getting there on a Friday afternoon in the summer is going to be the absolute worst DC traffic nightmare imaginable. My husband estimates it will take us three hours of stop-and-go hell to get there in time for the opening band. Sort of gives new meaning to the idea of tailgating before a concert…
But I’m trying not to let this impending traffic doom get me down. “Oh well,” I keep saying, “it will be fun once we get there.”
In other news, it was almost a year ago now that I lost my literary agent, and since then I have been on a frustrating, stop-and-go journey to try to find a new one. I’ve sent queries and participated in Twitter pitches and even met one-on-one with agents at conferences. I’ve had a good number of agents request the full manuscript. I’ve gotten some no’s, some positive feedback, and I’m still waiting for five agents with my manuscript to get back to me. Sometimes it sort of feels like I’m stuck in a traffic jam.
I keep thinking I’ve got to endure this frustratingly slow crawl towards publishing, looking forward to the day when I finally get “there.”
But the thing is, this part of the journey might last a long time. And to be honest, I’m beginning to think that the reason I haven’t found a new agent isn’t so much because I’m not lucky or well-connected (although those things are true, too), but because my book isn’t good enough. Maybe I’m not quite “there” yet as a writer.
Maybe I still have a lot to learn and a lot to improve.
I’ve been trying to rush through this stage – this pre-agent, pre-published stage. I’ve been feeling antsy and frustrated at my lack of progress. Maybe I need to stop looking ahead and start focusing on where I am right now. Stop worrying about getting an agent and start looking for ways to improve my writing. Stop shopping around this old book (which I wrote four years ago) and start writing a new book with some of the skills I’ve learned.
I’ve decided to make a concerted effort to not be (too) negative about the drive to the Weezer concert on Friday. My husband and I will have a chance to chat. I can load up my ipod with some good podcasts for us to listen to. I can bring a delicious snack. We might as well find a way to enjoy ourselves on the road, because lord knows we’re going to be there for a while. Instead of it being a frustrating means-to-an-end, I’ll try to think of the drive as part of the fun.
And as far as my writing goes, I think that’s the key as well: find a way to enjoy this stage of the process. I’ll get an agent when I get one. I’ll get published eventually. Best stop worrying about when. Best to enjoy myself where I am. Because lord knows I might be here for a while.