Wednesday, August 28, 2013

So Much Ambition, So Little Time

Brilliance from Idea Salesman
Life for a novelist’s Idea Salesman can be full of adventure. Pitches flying around the internet, queries dancing from one inbox to another, readers to tease, agents to entice. It’s thrilling and terrifying. It’s beautiful chaos.

Unless your novelist is working her way back from a long hiatus and has nothing to market. Then things get kinda dull.

Don’t get me wrong; I love working with Renee and she’s going to make me a very rich man someday with all the bestselling novels and screenplay adaptations.

Shut up. It could happen. Fine, it’s unlikely and all that. But the option is out there, just waiting for the universe to pick it up and toss it my way. I am ready, baby!

If nothing else, she’s settled on doing this forever, so there will always be job security and new challenges. A lot of novelists can’t give their Idea Salesman that kind of guarantee, so I’m a pretty lucky guy. And I’ve got this blog to supervise and tweets to nudge her into posting every few days. It’s not sexy, but it works for me. More will come eventually. I’m content with that.

And then the women just have to go and tease me.

Idea Salesman, you look bored. Look, there’s an anthology coming up in a few months and we’re working on a short story. Maybe you’ll have something to market sooner than you thought.


Um… Ladies, what happened to the short story?

Oh, that. Yeah, we learned a lot from it, but we decided it wasn’t worth pursuing. We’re back to working on the novel now. Don’t worry, Idea Salesman. We should have something for you in a year or two.

*@*$##! $&#@ $%# *%#! BLEEP! BLEEP! $*#& @&$^ ^%%& $@$*# @$*@&*! BLEEP! ^*# @#* $&*@! BLEEP! BLEEP! $&&* $** @&@^ *&$*! BLEEP! BLEEP! BLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!

Okay, deep breath. Woosaaah. Calm thoughts, Idea. Soothing tropical drinks and all that.

I have to remind myself sometimes that Renee is human, she’s not an all-powerful aspect of the mind like I am. I see something pop up that I know she could do, and I want to dive all over it. For example, a tweet will catch my eye and that voice in my head will start shouting “Look! Look! There’s an agent advertising on Twitter that she’s open for submissions and she’s looking for exactly the kind of story we’re writing! Pitch her! PITCH HER! PITCH HEEEEEEEEEER!

The problem with being a voice in someone’s head is that the voice in my head isn’t so much an inner monologue as a loud shrieking crazy man who happens to sound just like me. I have to watch it or those impulse reactions get taken seriously. Drown that crazy talk out with my cool, smooth, logical dude self. “No, no. Don’t listen to that. The novel isn’t finished yet. DO NOT PITCH HER.”

The problem (and it’s not really a problem, per se) is that Renee has a healthy amount of confidence in her skills. We’ve worked hard on that.

I mean, sure, most days she’s convinced she’s a hack of the lowest order whose words are garbage and that the publishing world is going to put her on some kind of blacklist just for having the temerity to consider making this into a career. But that’s, you know, normal for writers.

Back to the point. Renee has good confidence (some of the time) and so it’s not outside the realm of possibility that she could bang out a novel in two weeks if she really put her mind to it. And pawned her kids and her husband and her cats and her dishes off on some poor unsuspecting clone or something. But while that sounds great to me, it’s not really a good plan and no matter how tempting the lure of our ambition, I have to remember to keep things grounded.

Because at the end of the day, she doesn’t actually have a poor unsuspecting clone to take care of things, so we have to remember the physical limits of the time-space continuum and all that. It might make for a slow life for me, but I’ll get through it. There is plenty of chaos to be had later, once we’ve got a few things finished and Renee’s kids start disappearing into the school system (*shudder*) and freeing up some more of her time. Sure, that’s… years from now, but I will not let it get me down.

At least I have football season coming up to distract me. Go… Where are we living now again? Sometimes I lose track of the physical world stuff. Oh, right, Chicagoland! Go Bears!

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