The waiting to be published, like waiting outside a closed door. You can hear things going on inside. You can even peek through the keyhole and see an agent sprawled over the desk with another writer in her arms. And you can even slip messages under the door until it’s wedged shut against you. You could even become brutish and kick down the door, but what will that get you? A stunned agent. And then she’ll never remember you. You could pick the lock. But then what? You’d find the room’s empty and the agent’s tucked up in bed with the new book she just got published for a first-time writer. No, it’s best just to be patient. To keep writing like God’s at your heels with a blueprint of your make-up and he’s beginning to nod and mumble to himself about a change. I must persist. I must not wilt in the scorching sun of rejection. One day, high on the hill, the wild hawk will fly down and take the meat from my hands — or he’ll take my whole bloody hand off and I’ll be left with stumps. What is it that some scribbler said: writing is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration. And it’s also having a head like a hammerhead shark. Having Thor’s hammer instead of the poet’s lyre, sometimes. It’s about being immune to needling others who either want your blood because they don’t have it or drain your blood because they think you shouldn’t have it.
Either way, bloodletting must be done. So get out your cup and let’s drink to getting published.