So I wrote a memoir manuscript. I spent four years on it; and while the process was of immense personal value to me, I am at the very beginning of seeing if it might be of any worth to someone else. I’m querying agents.

I’ve been told this part can take awhile. “Depending on any number of factors, it can depend” is essentially the projection I’ve gleaned from advice books on agents, industry folks, and the published. Currently, four agents are reading my manuscript.

Here are the five things I’m doing, instead of gnawing off my paws, while I wait for them to respond.

  1. I’m reading giant tomes to remind myself of how long and varied life’s endeavors can be. Right now, I’m in the middle of The Life of Elizabeth I biography and The Fran Lebowitz Reader (still).
  1. I volunteer. As mentioned, volunteering at the Housing Works Bookstore helps me maintain perspective on the book market. However, the pursuit has also been a source of inspiration, a connection to literary kin, and unexpectedly to ARCs. Boxes of Advanced Review Copies are frequently donated by publishers. In these treasure troves, I have found Alice Dreger’s Galileo’s Middle Finger (out now) that I can’t wait to review…somewhere…possibly along with None of the Above, a young adult novel about a teenager discovering she was intersex by I.W. Gregorio (out 4/15).
  1. I set a new fitness goal. Exercise was essential for me during the writing process. I relied on group fitness classes to counter the solitude and sedentary nature of writing. Waiting is a different kind of endurance; so I signed up for the Pride Run in June. I am not a runner. I’ve never run five miles in my life—unless it happened when I wasn’t paying attention during a soccer or basketball game a couple decades ago. Between now and June, I just want to focus making it from Point A to Point B.

    There is one with a horse and a cat.

    There is one with a horse and a cat.

  1. I’m exploring new neighborhoods. Each weekend, Melinda and I are venturing to some stop off the subway. Last Sunday, we took the L to the G in order to check out the Word Bookstore in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. I bought Meghan Daum’s collection of essays, The Unspeakable, and these incredible notecards.
  1. I got a job. There’s nothing quite like a new full-time endeavor to occupy one’s time. However, beyond basic distraction, I’ve dedicated myself to an organization—a movement—that is so much bigger than myself. That my marketing communications experience can help to further their goals and that my boss and entire team are writers, who value writing and support my efforts to share my personal story, is uplifting all around.

That said. I’m admittedly in a constant state of hope. Every new email, every unknown number on my cell phone spikes my heart rate with the question: What if…? I’ve never wanted an achievement more, but if publishing this one story doesn’t happen now—or ever—it’s helpful to remind myself that there are so many being lived right now that just might become new ones.