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 😀

General Update Because I’ve Been Busy

Everything’s happening at once.

We’re moving, and it might be sooner than we’d planned, which is good, but stressful. Still, just as well to get things over with, if it’s going to happen. We found a place where we won’t have to hide the cats, and we just need to find out if we get approved, thanks to a friend who spotted the rental listing on facebook.

I’m putting off rewriting that one section of the commercial exam because there’s just too much going on right now to deal with it.

Women In Aviation Week: that happened, and it was big, exhausting day for this aspie. We had fifteen women interested in flying out at Lyncrest, though, with limited planes that had skis, we only managed to get a couple of them into the air. We had lots of time to chat though, which is cool, because my husband gets tired of listening to me talk about flying…

Four year old asks the tough questions: I was over at my critique partner’s house (she gets mad when I call her my BFF) and her nephew, who likes planes and has been told about me, asked “Are you really going to be a pilot?”

I said “I already am.” He seemed very confused. I assumed perhaps he didn’t understand what a pilot was, so I elaborated, “I fly a plane.”

He still looked confused, and finally he asked “If you have a plane, then why do you have a car?”

Valid question. I tried to explain that the roads weren’t really wide enough.

Writing: Been querying. There have been developments. I don’t see a lot of people talking about getting requests for full manuscripts, so I don’t know if that’s because it happens so infrequently, or if it’s because there’s some faux pas about saying when you’ve got an agent looking at your manuscript, but there have been developments. I am hopeful. Cross your fingers for me.

Like I said, everything’s happening at once.