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Now that the pleasant obsessive flurry of NaNoWriMo is over (at least for me, ha ha!) I went back to Max, who needed a few stitches as I ported over the wrong version from the machine I needed to reformat last week. This meant tweaking all his agent files, including taking out scraps I just thought were stupid and the piece bragging about his sequel, which my main beta reader pointed out at length is pretty sucky and needs a lot of work.

All this took only about half an hour, and yet my brain hurts and I’m tired. Why? At which point does writing click over from being fun to being work? That word again.

I think for me, at least part of it is tied into (let’s be honest here) my illness. I have no idea what part of my complex of diagnoses it is, but I have a morbid phobia of anything like filling out forms. I have a simple and important one going to the IRS out in the living room now. So far, I’ve filled in my name and the first part of my address. This form is not scary. In fact, seeing as it clears up a minor misunderstanding, it’s un-scary. But it makes me hyperventilate. I don’t know why. I can fill out forms for other people, but as soon as I’m involved, my gut tightens.

And, Best Beloveds, sending out query letters to agents is the worst sort of form-itis I know. I have a neuronormal writing buddy who can pump the things out like popcorn. I just don’t get it. It would be bad enough, knowing that 99.9% of all these people are going to reject me–and only about a third of them will be polite enough to tell me so–but they all want something a little different. And this makes my ADHD brain go into whimpers and curl into a fetal position. (Maybe the form phobia is just ADHD, mixed with the PTSD of having had to fill out SO many to get into The System.)

I just have to get to the bottom of my agent list, and then I can give up, admit I’m a professional publishing failure, and self-pub poor Max, who will then be bought and read by fewer people than have beta read him. Depressing or what? I know I have to change my attitude, but you see, it was a dream, back when I was brand new and naive. I thought of course I’d find an agent–I actually thought a Famous Professor from school would be glad to help me–and then I’d be catapulted to fame and fortune at last.

None of that happened, nor, statistically speaking, is it likely to. Depressing, or what?

Or what. I have to change my attitude. I’ve done it before; I can do it now. Sempers toujours, as Podkayne says.