I consider myself to be just starting out on the road to published authordom (if that's a word), even though I've already spent the last six months writing and re-writing my novel, because it's one thing to fire up your imagination, pour your heart out on the page and wear out your thesaurus creating that manuscript, but it's another to see it in print and in the hands of readers who will appreciate it as much as I do.
The "fun" part is nearly over. Soon the slog to find an agent will begin, but not quite yet. I think the book is great (except on rainy Tuesdays when it's utter trash and I'm crazy for attempting this). I still want to polish the beginning and ending some more--the most crucial bits--because my test audience (aka my husband) thinks it's only 90% perfect when I should aim for 110%, matching the standard of the rest of the book. "You think the rest is 110%?" "Yes." and I beam. I know he's my husband and should be expected to say nice things, but he's actually a cruel, uncompromising critic, and I know he's not being soft on me. Maybe it's his way of retaliating for being asked to do the dishes? Anyway, those final changes will be made this week.
What's next? I'm going to take my baby (aka the manuscript) out of the warm, protective environment in which it was created and send it out into the harsh cold world to stand on its own four legs (I'm thinking of it like a colt, which actually has a chance of surviving in such conditions, unlike a human baby). Am I sending it off to an agent already you wonder? No, no, no. I'm going to give it to Julie and a few other friends to read. Julie first. She's nice and has similar tastes. If it passes muster (oops, wrong analogy, if it stands up without wobbling too much) then I'll give it to one of my other friends, who are mean and cruel like my husband and whose opinions I'll ignore anyway. What am I saying? I'll listen and do yet another re-write!