My novel is currently in the hands of three different people who have kindly volunteered to read over my manuscript and critique it. I’ve been very nervous about their feedback, mostly because no one else besides myself has even looked at the manuscript since 2007 when I had a whopping three chapters complete.
I spent the last year doubting myself and my novel because I wasn’t getting any feedback. I kept asking myself if it was good enough, or if I was wasting my time on it. On some days, I was convinced that no, it wasn’t good enough and yes, I was wasting my time. But more often than not, I pushed on, determined to finish my first novel.
This week, I got my first, brief feedback. One of my peers in the JHU Writing Program says she is in love with it and just past the first part. This, as I told her, is very reassuring! Some good news about a project that felt like it took forever to complete! And today, my former co-worker said that he is amazed that I finished a difficult concept and didn’t quit half way.
It seems like I am still on the right path. I requested to have my manuscripts back by the beginning of October, and then I will start the tedious process of editing, which I am not looking forward to at all. Not. At. All.
I also took time to visit the Baltimore Book Festival in such beautiful weather after having a weekend of gray skies and misery. It was a very pleasant experience, with all of the food, the vendors, the authors and the books! I saw my professor speak on a panel about adolescent literature, and I also listened in on a panel about the process of getting published. I didn’t stick around too much for that one, if only because both of the authors said they got themselves published by going around their agents’ backs. I wanted to hear about someone who had to actually sit through the process, not jump boat.
I had a good time down there, though. I only wish that it was less awkward, as all the mini tents and vendors seemed to either be hawking after you, or they were very lonely. It would do much better, I believe, if it was held inside instead.
Anyway, for all you young writers out there (sorry if you are over 30 and I am calling you old — I am not!), Narrative is holding a writing/media contest that looks very awesome! There’s a small entry fee, but it’s worth it! I love the work that they publish!