Neverland

The final dregs of a dark and dramatic sunset. Very all hallows.

I dreamed last night that Allison inherited an amusement park. Very Michael Jackson Neverlandish. I think the hidden meaning here is obvious.

This was probably stimulated our conversation yesterday when Allison asked what I was writing and I told her about this new novella and that it was fun to write. She said she remembered having fun writing. Being the sympathetic writing partner that I am, I replied “wah wah wah.”

After all, she’s got the amusement park. I’m still paying to ride the roller coaster.

But even an amusement park becomes work when you’re the one who runs it, instead of being just a visitor. You don’t get to come and go as you please. The rides have to be maintained every day. You don’t get to skip a day or a week, unless you really love nasty consequences.

The query process is a funny thing because it’s like an incredibly extended job hunt. You refine your resumes, send them out to all kinds of people. Hopefully some friends clue you in on opportunities, recommend you for a job. Of course, we’ve all heard of the person who just blanket-sends a resume to everyone in the phone book. If they like your resume, maybe you get an interview. Maybe you get six interviews, of increasing length and depth. At any point in the process, someone from HR or the marketing department might walk in the room, take one look at you and say no no no.

And you’re done.

It’s like being interviewed to take over as VP of Major Earnings. There’s no starting out in the mail room, or as someone’s assistant. No gradually building your clientele over the course of years.

Then, if you get hired, you’d better perform. Earn that corner office. Increase that profit margin.

No wonder that part isn’t so fun.

But never let it be forgotten that it *is* an amusement park. We choose writing for the wild rides, for the sweetness of the cotton candy, for the sparkling lights and the carnival music.

Oh yeah, sign me up.

8 Replies to “Neverland”

  1. Great analogy, Jeffe. And, believe me, the ride doesn't stop once you get an agent. Or ever, judging by what I hear from friends who a little farther along in the process than I am.

  2. Geez, I sound like such a whiner. That being said, I would *love* to have my own amusement park.

    And yes, the ride only goes higher once you get the agent and the book deal. It's still a lot of fun, but the potential to fall is a lot higher as well.

    I did want to point out that it's not that writing isn't fun for me anymore (it certainly is.) It's just that there's a difference now in that I'm not writing *for* fun. And yes, there are times when I miss that.

  3. Aw, Allison, I don't think you sound like a whiner. (And it was a brilliant amusement park!) As Linda points out, too, the ride never stops and, yes, the stakes get stakier.

    Doing my best to relish my fun… 😉

  4. it'd be great if i could get one of those fast pass things. that way i know when and where it's my turn to ride THAT ride.

  5. Ah, the amusement park. As the owner, you have to consider which rides are still drawing the numbers and which ones need to be torn down to make room for something new. You want the scream-teens but not their messes. Families are great, as long as you have a kiddie park. If you're really brave, you'll include a water park.

    Fortunately, no one expects you to maintain it alone.

    Just, please gods, don't make me responsible for the tea-cup rides.

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