On Baseball and Hope
I attribute my absence directly to the existence of March. March, you see, is Spring Training, and the beginning of Baseball. I wasn't raised to be this way, though my dad and I voraciously watched Tokyo Giants games because it was on TV all the time, but when I lived in Japan, my relatives there sucked baseball up (if an IV was possible they'd probably have used that). More importantly, being in Japan introduced me to the world of baseball manga....man, H2 and Cross Game are something else.
But I digress. Baseball, for all its warts, is about hope. Well, it's about a lot of things, but for the purpose of this blog, it's that you still have a chance to win as long as you have at least one out left.
So the odds of a chasm-wide comeback victory in baseball are slim - 12 run deficits were only overcome in only a handful of games - but a "regular" comeback victory, those are much more common in baseball, especially since, again, it's theoretically possible to win until the last out is recorded. Watching a 1-0 game is excruciatingly tense, and groan-inducing if your team comes out of that with a loss.
Here's where I segue into writing. Of course, like many writers, I'd love to be published by one of the big five and make enough money to be able to to quit my day job (just so you know, working for an indie publisher does squat for your writing career unless you write what they're looking for, though it DOES give you insight into how the slush pile works...and you'd better have an amazing social media platform because they don't have the marketing budget to be able to support you as much as you'd like), but the odds are pretty slim. Say what you will about needing to edit, and find beta-readers, and editing again to have a polished manuscript... after you've done all those things, you still have to find the right agent to send the right query letter to, at precisely the right time (ie not when s/he's tired at the end of the day, and you're at the end of the queue for the day) they've opened their email inbox. And then, you have to resonate with said agent two more times: the partial (kudos to the agent that asks for up to 50 pages at the outset, it saves us both some time), and the full. Sure, you can have a polished manuscript waiting for a home, but if it doesn't resonate you're going to get the "Thanks, but this isn't for me" letter.
It took me a LONG time to take those letters as a compliment. You truly want someone who believes they can sell your work to represent it. Someone who loves it but who can't think of a place they can sell it will not be able to help you (and these were, IMHO, the most heartbreaking rejection letters I've received - they genuinely liked my manuscript).
Back to baseball.
These days, I spend some time working on my current project, working my day job (I'm going to be real honest here and say I'm going to keep working a day job for as long as I can... I can't think of any other way I'd have enough social interaction on my own to be able to come up with new novel material), and sending out queries for my previous project. The querying, especially, is a slog, there's no other word for it. After my requisite time spent in front of my computer I turn on the TV and watch some baseball. Because a come-from-behind victory tastes especially sweet after an hour of slogging through form emails; it reminds me to hope, and to Never. Stop. Writing.