There are many things that I don’t like about writing such as rejections, fighting through writer’s block, editing/rewriting a difficult passage, rejections, stories and characters vying for attention when I am trying to concentrate on one thing, the wait between submission and response, rejections, etc. On the whole, however, there is much more about writing that I do like – which is a good thing, seeing as how I seem to do it rather a lot and am not into self-flagellation – and among the many and splendid things that these include one of them is receiving a galley.
For those that don’t know what a galley is (and, no, it isn’t – in this case – the place where pirates cook their breakfast), it is basically a final, proof of how an article, story or book will look prior to printing. It gives the author (or authors) a chance to have a final read through to ensure that any typos or other mistakes are caught before printing because, after that, there is no going back.
So, when a galley pops into my inbox I get a small rush of adrenaline and glee as I realise that it means a real, physical book with my writing in it will soon be available for the millions and millions of people out there to read (ok, it may only be thousands, hundreds or even a handful – but that doesn’t matter); including me! There is such a sense of awe when a physical book arrives at your door with YOUR name – and your story – in it. That is the payoff, though; before that comes the antici … pation (sorry, had to channel some Frank N Further from Rocky Horror there), which is what the galley is.
Think about Christmas. Yes, ripping the presents open on Christmas morning is cool, as is using/playing/reading (usually option 3 for me) the contents but before that there is often days of sitting and looking at the wrapped up boxes and wondering just what is inside. It is there but, at that moment, you don’t really know what it is, or will be.
A galley is just that; it is the book that isn’t quite there. It is the book that will be.
And receiving these – working on these – is something that I definitely like!