Levels Of Validation For An Author

I posted this on facebook, but it was a popular post so I’ll repeat it here.

1: Your mom/friend reads it and says “That was lovely!”

2: Your critique circle says “Definitely a good start.”

3: Best critique partner says “You’ve got a novel here.”

4: Pro author in a blue pencil session reads first 3 pages and says “This is good, send it out to an agent.”

5: Agent reads first 50 pages and offers to look at revisions.

6: Agent reads revisions of first 50 pages, gushes and asks for the full manuscript.

7: Agent has taken the time to read full manuscript, gives feedback, and offers to look at revisions.

My friends and family have mostly encouraged me along the way, but lately I think it’s sinking in to the people around me that I’m not just an aspiring author who’ll get published someday if I work really hard at it. A lot of them have seen how long and hard I’ve worked at it now, and they believe me when I say I’m close to breaking out. I’m at that point where instead of begging people to read my work, people are expressing curiosity and asking to read it. I’ve had people online asking if I needed a beta reader and saying it’s okay if I don’t have time to return the favour. But the reality is, I think the novel’s at the point where a novice author may not have much to offer me that I can’t figure out on my own.

Maybe that’s what’s making my friends realize I’m close to getting published. The fact that I’m not showing my work to anyone who expresses the least bit of interest. When people say, “I’ll wait till it’s published,” I’m not frustrated that they’re not so excited they want to read it now.

And now I’m back to revisions, and I won’t say too much other than if I have anything to announce, don’t worry, I’ll be letting people know. But the feeling an author gets from knowing that an industry professional made it all the way through their manuscript, not just the polished first 5 pages, without throwing it in the garbage… not only that, but thinks it’s close enough to good enough to be worth the time it takes to provide feedback. Knowing they don’t *do* that if they don’t think you’re worth their time.

This is the fuel driving me through revisions ๐Ÿ˜€


6 responses to “Levels Of Validation For An Author

  1. Hi Lindsay, what made me realise you are close(r) to being published is that an agent wanted to look at your work again, I think you said at the time, these people don’t do that unless they think it’s worth it.

    I am not sure you are close to being published, since you still need to get an agent who then needs to sell your book – but you are definitely closer than you were, and critically, you have that level of focus and determination that you need to get the job done and get you to a contract.

    I could advice you to keep focused and keep working hard and don’t make any assumptions yet etc.etc. but somehow I don’t think you need any of that stuff, I think you’re pretty centred around what you need to do.

    And when you do get that contract there’s going to be a whole bunch of people around the world who will celebrate with you.

    It’s comin’ !

    • Yeah, I’m not fooling myself or anything, I know there’s no guarantee I’ll get this agent (or any of the other two who asked for the full manuscript…). But having got this far, to have an agent read the whole thing – it’s not the first time I’ve had an agent request the full manuscript, but it’s the first time I’ve had proof that an agent, or any industry professional, made it though the entire thing. And sure that’s not an offer or a sale, but it’s a huge step closer than just getting a manuscript request based on a few pages and a query, or even getting feedback from non-pro peers on the full. If one pro thinks it’s good enough to take the time to offer feedback, then that tells me it’s good enough that even if I don’t get an offer from her, it’s just a matter of time before I get an offer from someone.

      Also, I hear once you get an agent, things can often start happening really quickly. I think it depends on the agent.

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