Thinking Ahead: Beta Readers and Beyond

Last week, I scored a much needed session with my editor (and best friend), Adair. This is someone who has known every phase of TESS AND THE TRINKET, even, as we affectionately like to say, when it was bad. Adair has had her eyes on almost every word I've written, and her support and passion for my writing has sustained me for lo these many years. It also helps that she is a counselor and has a knack for improving the writing without offending my delicate sensibilities. 

Last week's "Writers Corner", as we like to call it, involved a lot of catching up on where I am in the editing process, but we also allowed ourselves to look ahead a little. Unlike a lot 9 to 5 jobs, writing can feel like a never-ending process of trying to feel like something is getting done. Weeks and weeks of slaving away over this manuscript, and still all I can say when people ask is, "It's still coming along." When will I get to say, "I've got an agent"? Or even, "I'm looking for agents"? It helps to daydream about the future, while also keeping the nose to the grindstone. Here is the plan as of now:

  • I finish my edits.
  • Adair sweeps through the manuscript again.
  • Husband Hill proof reads (he's a corporate lawyer and a baller at technical editing)
  • Send out the manuscript to beta readers for their first impressions: probably two adults and two readers in the target audience.
  • Adjust the manuscript according to feedback.
  • Hire a professional editor to take a look at the manuscript.
  • SEND THE DARN THING TO AN AGENT. I might have mentioned that a super wonderful agent asked to see the entire manuscript when I pitched the book to her at a writing workshop in Nashville. It's been a few months since then, and I am just itching to get this manuscript to her before she forgets all about me. I try to tell myself that sending a polished manuscript a few months later is better than sending a shoddy manuscript early. But, if I'm being honest, the panic sets in more than a few times a week. God will provide!

I've also been getting a lot of ideas for future projects lately, mostly picture books and children's novels. I hope that by the time TESS AND THE TRINKET is under way, I'll have a whole trove of new goodies to sink my teeth into. That's an exciting thought. Of course it's also indicative of my impatient nature.

Just focus on the task at hand, Emily. Live for today! 

Anyone else find that an impossible task?