This picture was taken today. The day I finished my manuscript (again). And along with being incredibly tired of looking at it I am also super proud of myself.
I wrote this young adult novel last year and took it to the Atlanta Writer's Conference in November, where the agent I met with requested to see the entire manuscript. That conversation is seriously up there in the top five moments of my life. But after about six weeks she wrote me back and told me she didn't feel it was ready. She couldn't offer me representation at that time. But she also told me she'd love to see my future work because it was clear I was "a great talent" (and as disappointed as I was, that last comment pretty much made up for it).
About a month ago, as I was nearing the completion of my edits, I wrote the agent an email telling her I had taken her advice to heart and made heavy revisions (and I do mean heavy) on my novel and would she like to see it again when I finished? She wrote back the next day and said yes! So now here I am again preparing to send my baby off to be critiqued and potentially rejected. But with the potential for rejection also comes the potential for acceptance...and the potential for success as an author, something I've diligently been working towards since I was nineteen.
Even if the agent doesn't want to represent me this time around either, I am still happy with the distance I've come since last November. I think I always felt the story wasn't quite there, but it's hard to know how to change it unless someone else offers feedback. Even now I'm struggling because I don't have the ability to look at my work objectively. But the thing I'm most proud of is that I finished it. That I took the time to take her advice and try to make the manuscript better. And now when I look at it I see a much stronger story with more compelling characters. I stopped trying to explain everything they did and felt and just tried to make them as real to the reader as they are to me. And no matter what the outcome that is something to celebrate.
So on that note I say happy Friday to you all! It's going to be a wonderful weekend.