Counting Pumpkins

Yesterday, my son toured the snake-infested part of the garden. (Note: We don’t exactly know the number of snakes in there. Just that there are snakes.) He came back unscathed, with a glowing report.

There are eight pie-pumpkins out there.

To which I grinned, and reminded him, “Don’t count your pumpkins before you pick them.”

Still, it’s a celebration. He’s been struggling to grow this variety for three years now. This spring, he almost despaired because the plants weren’t producing female flowers, only males. He has worked hard to cultivate those plants, and to see him happy about his success can only give me happiness too. All of them could fail. We both know that. It’s happened before. But for now, yes. There are eight pie-pumpkins out there.

I saw some writing scuttlebutt surrounding a tweet this weekend, and it made me think about celebrations, defeat, and generally how a writer should conduct themselves while querying. Is it appropriate to celebrate small victories, like a request, in public? Should that be kept to a private group? Should the writer not celebrate at all except by themselves in private with a few critique partners? And the converse of that? Should a writer post when they get a rejection? Is that seen as a form of whining? Should they hide their rejections and celebrations in case other people are watching?

As with a garden, a full request isn’t much more than saying something about the query and pages worked. In short, the seed came up. It germinated. Now there’s a pumpkin on the vine and it looks promising. That doesn’t mean you’ll harvest that pumpkin. So, can you brag about it? Sure. Absolutely. Can you say nothing except in private to your friends and CPs? Yeah! Do that. Can you tell no one and keep it all to yourself, hiding those pumpkins in the weeds? You bet.

You do you. There will be people who won’t like that. They’ll remind you to not count your pumpkins before you pick them. But don’t think they aren’t happy for you.

This writer is.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s