Waiting for an audience

People keep asking, and I keep answering:

“How’s your writing going?”

“Great,” I say. “I’m still writing!”

From the outside, they can’t yet see the progress. They see me on my laptop and assume I’m trolling Facebook. They see Rowan in school, and they wonder what I do with my time. They’ve seen one self-published book, but nothing else coming down the line. They think it’s just a hobby, a flirtation. They think it’s not working.

“Really, Kate, how is the writing?”

The writing is great. The writing is intense. The writing gets better every day. The writing is not the struggle for me.

The struggle is the audience. The struggle is the readers. The struggle is sharing my work with the world. The struggle is waiting for the next step. Waiting for the agent. The publisher. The editor. Waiting for the audience.

That’s the thing they don’t tell you. When you get past the writing block, when you put in the time, when you write every day, when you watch the work get better, when you finish that first novel — the next step isn’t publishing. The next step is waiting. Soul-sucking, mind-numbing waiting. It’s like watching an Internet video of a cat bounding after a feather. Yes, that shit is awesome, but can it just have the feather? Is it too much to ask?

Well, now I’m just complaining, and that’s not the point. The Internet has enough of that. I’ve got work to do; words to write and books to read.

So, how the writing? It’s great. The waiting, though, that sucks.