By Rita Emmett
Tips & Inspiration for Getting Published
By Dan Poynter
The writing project was going so smoothly it was
scary. I’d started at the top in
approaching a literary agent, and
my first choice accepted me!
The book, with a "working title" of The
Complete Procrastinator’s Handbook, was a
approach to help people conquer procrastination. I sent off a rough
draft of the manuscript to my agent, and she sent it back with
suggestions for a format, plus instructions that I polish it and
return it as soon as possible.
Then the winds of change tornadoed my life.
Family illnesses, deaths and children’s
marriages sent my life
spinning, so I decided to "put the book on the back burner"
while I concentrated on these more important life events.
It was not procrastination, it was a choice, a
priority … and that was reasonable.
But I never communicated with my agent about
this decision … and that was
Three years later, my life finally settled down.
It was time to return to the book.
I could NOT do it.
Although our contract had expired, I felt -
morally and ethically – that I should give my
agent the choice of
working with me or not. More than that, I really WANTED to work
her. But I was too embarrassed about all the time that had gone by,
dreaded making that phone call. Thus began a year of
procrastination – phony
excuses, being too busy, ANYTHING to put
that phone call as far from my mind as
possible. The irony of putting
off a book about procrastination was too painful to talk
added to my embarrassment.
The day came when the dread of making that phone
call was making me sick. I had hit
bottom and I finally decided to
summon up my courage and use every trick in the book –
MY book –
to make that call.
The agent courteously listened to me and
graciously offered to look at my new
manuscript. MY PROCRASTINATION
She found a publisher for me, negotiated a
wonderful advance, and that’s the end of
THAT story … and the
beginning of my life as an author … and as a "Recovering
Quote: EMMETT’S LAW: The dread of doing a task
uses up more time and energy
than doing the task itself.