So I have just hit a huge milestone in my life, no I'm not talking about getting hitched a couple of weeks ago, that's old news (ahem...), nor am I talking about recently celebrating my birthday (to be honest, does anyone really celebrate birthdays once they hit their mid-20's?) instead I am referring to my journey to becoming the next New York Times bestselling novelist. Have I got an Agent? Am I getting published? Is the book tour lined up? Wait just a minute there cowboy and put those guns back in their holsters.
I hear your next thought... Well if none of the above is the big milestone, then what exactly is? It may just be one small step in your eyes, but it's one giant leap for me: I have submitted my book to an agent. That didn't sound quite so theatrical, let me try again...
I HAVE SUBMITTED MY DEBUT NOVEL, IN ALL ITS WONDERFUL GLORY, TO AN AGENT, FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER!!
That's much better... I think you get the importance, the significance, the momentousnous (that's not actually a word, but it's just so gosh darn appropriate for this scenario that I'm determined to include it) of this occasion.
Now, let me give you the run down of exactly how things went down, as there is no point baking a pie, letting you smell that delectable sweet aroma of cinnamon and apple, without following it up by giving you a large slice with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Last time I left you, I had finished my first edit and I have since followed this up by finishing my second edit! To be honest, I didn't quite cut down the word count as much as I would like, but my thinking behind this being, writing is so objective anyway, that an agent might say the length is fine, or have a differing opinion as to what sections could be trimmed so at this point I think it's better to plant the tree and then ask the madam of the house how she would like it pruned, rather than getting heavy handed with the gardening shears.
The next question that I know is lingering in your mind like the exercise plan you drew up in January; who, and how many agents did I submit my work to. This may come as a surprise, and possibly against the advice of a lot of blogs, columns and articles about manuscript submissions, but currently, I have only submitted to one. Am I so confident that I think I only need to submit once and they will instantly fall in love with my work and be drawing up a contract as I write this? No, not at all. Am I unrealistically optimistic that a part of me still believes I could be that person that does only submit to one agency and hears positively back, first time around? Yes, but is that so bad? I'm an optimistic person, dreamy - hey, I'm a Piscean, what do you expect! And I realise that it might not happen, I will probably need to submit to more, but I also want to give this a chance to happen. I chose the agency specifically, I even chose the person at the agency specifically, because I believe they could connect to my writing. And if they don't, I'll get my fishing rod back out and throw the hook a little further, but amongst all of the advice and guidance that assured me I would be rejected over and over again before I got any sort of interest shown in my work, there was also the notion that one shouldn't just be the highschool slut and dishing it out to anyone.
So I haven't heard back yet, I will make sure to update when I do, but even without having heard any feedback yet, here are my wise words of wisdom: Be selective, be confident, and be hopeful - there's plenty of time for self-pity and self-deprecation later.