A few months ago I posted about using little beta readers to help give me that final push to get my childrens’ novel ship shape for submitting to agents and publishers this year.
I advertised on a community Facebook page for parents and children aged 6-10 to read my book and provide a critique.
Well, the results are now in and, after a short break from writing altogether, I think I’m finally ready to get back on the editing horse again.
My book was born five years ago now. It’s been a long process not helped by the fact that I’ve had a tricky few months wrestling with my confidence. I suppose this block started when I met with a commissioning editor and agent at a Scottish Book Week event in November. I was hoping to pitch but it turned out just to be a 10 minute two to one PR press junket, which was disappointing after having prepped and psyched up.
When I told them enthusiastically about my beta readers, they were surprised and said I was being “very entrepreneurial,” which I must admit to finding rather patronising.
Some other short story rejections came in around that time, leaving me feeling crest fallen. I just felt like giving up on my dream. Perhaps it had just been a huge waste of time and energy.
Despite this and my fears about getting my work “out there” for criticism, the feedback from both parents and children has been great and has really helped steer me back on course.
There’s nothing like a child to tell it like it is (!) and I’m hoping to use some of their fabby one-liners to boulster my submissions letters.
A great confidence booster!
The tricky bit now is knowing how much more tinkering to do. Should I submit knowing some changes may still be required? I’m a little afraid of pushing the draft too far and over-working it.
For the first time in months I’m actually looking forward to getting started again.
A little patience with myself is all I need.
It feels good to be back.