Earlier this week, I reached what I think is a major milestone in my writing career: I received editorial notes on my manuscript from an agent. A really great agent, I might add, who works for a top New York literary agency. I had been excited for this to happen for quite a while, but also nervous. What if my writing is terrible and I have mounds of work to do? Well, from what I understand, the agent wouldn't have read it or taken the time to make notes giving suggestions and asking questions if it was terrible, so that's a bit of an exaggeration. But the having tons of work to do part isn't. And I'm okay with that.
It's exhilarating to read these notes; I want to improve my manuscript to the point that it can be sold to a publishing house. I joked that it's a good thing I'm used to answering a bunch of questions/reading a ton of notes on my writing from editors, otherwise it might have been a shock. I really enjoy constructive feedback. I'm hopeful that I will rewrite well and bring the manuscript to where it needs to be eventually, but I imagine that will take time.
Many of the questions I received related to achieving clarity. I see the world I'm creating so clearly in my mind that it's easy to forget that readers don't have the same perspective. Some of the suggestions given were related to word choice; is that the best word I could use to convey my meaning? I'm eagerly awaiting my next phone chat with the literary agent so I can get further advice and feedback, as I continue working on editing. I'm also thrilled to spend time with my mentor later this summer to work on my book. I'm incredibly fortunate to have people in my life who believe in and want to help me.
Another writing thing that I'm eagerly anticipating is the SCBWI summer conference in L.A. I went last year for the first time and learned a ton. It was one of the first times the possibility of becoming an author seemed real to me. Established authors like my mentor mingled with and taught newbie writers like me and others trying to break into the industry. We heard inspiring and entertaining speeches and participated in educational workshops. It was great and I'm so excited to attend again!
Ironically my last blog post was about how I needed to be patient because it seemed so many things I wanted were moving at a snail's pace. I'm sure I'll feel impatient again sometime, maybe even soon, but it's wonderful to have so many positive things going on. I'm trying to enjoy the moment and not worry too much about what happens next, although there's a lot to be excited about!