I guess I’m having a day when I feel overwhelmed by the world and unable to cope. I’ve got a lot to do, although realistically not much of it needs to be done today, but I still feel overwhelmed.

I woke up very late feeling depressed again, or pseudo-depressed, as I’m not “supposed” to be clinically depressed at the moment. I wasn’t sure whether to be glad I don’t have work today (J wanted me to come in tomorrow instead of today) or if I would have felt better if I’d had to force myself to go into work, which would at least have provided distraction. I think a lot of it is nervousness about submitting my manuscript, and also about getting through a pile of other chores I need to do.

Strangely, I think positive changes can make me depressed. Change is scary for anyone, doubly so on the spectrum, so even things like finishing my novel can trigger depression. It’s even possible that E’s plans to come to the UK in October (the “exciting thing” I hinted at last week) could push me downwards in the short-term, even though I’m very excited about it. It’s just that anything out of the ordinary can be difficult for me.

I looked at some websites I’d been recommended to see which ones would help with looking for a literary agent. It seems particularly scary. I do actually know which agent I would like to submit my novel to first, but one site suggested sending submissions to ten to twenty agents at a time! That is, frankly, terrifying. Just the thought of contacting twenty strangers in one go, even without them judging my writing! It said I should also find similar novels to compare mine to in my cover letter, but I’m not sure that there are any, depending on how you define what my novel is “about,” and I’m not really sure how to find them. Also “Read my novel because it’s a bit like another novel” seems really shallow to me, although I can see why an agent might be more willing to look at “A book that’s a twenty-first century Chaim Potok novel, that would appeal to people who watched Unorthodox and Shtisel” than some random novel that turned up in their inbox unannounced. I do think my tendency to read eclectically and not particularly modern books, will probably hamper me here, as I’m not sure what parallels to draw. The Chaim Potok parallel is probably stronger than anything more recent (Potok died in 2002). My novel is definitely closer in style to Potok than Unorthodox.

The problem is compounded by my novel being thematically rich/unfocused (depending how generous you want to be), inasmuch as it has themes of Jewish identity, autistic identity and domestic abuse. I’m not sure how to promote all angles (anyone who knows books about domestic abuse in particular would be a help here!).

I did manage a few tasks: went for a walk, did a few minutes of Talmud study (reviewing material from Saturday’s class) and cooked dinner (and ate with my parents, so peopling). I did some online clothes shopping too. So I guess that was all good. On the other hand, I can’t face doing substantial Torah study or going to depression group online or really doing anything this evening other than watching TV, so things seem a bit negative.

4 thoughts on ““It’s a lot like playing the violin/You cannot start off to be Yehudi Menuhin”

  1. I think “A book that’s a twenty-first century Chaim Potok novel, that would appeal to people who watched Unorthodox and Shtisel” is exactly how you should market your novel, and I can send you some more recent titles/authors you might want to look at in terms of comparison points (though they’re mostly not THAT similar).

    Liked by 1 person

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