I have just come to the end of another novel. Well, I say ‘the end’ but there’s still a long way to go. What I actually mean is that I’ve written it, edited it three times and have at last reached the stage where I’m ready for my agent to read it.
Oh, and when I say ‘ready for my agent to read it’, what I actually mean is that I’ve done as much as I can without seeking another opinion. To say I’m ‘ready’ to let my agent see it would be flippant because it’s at this stage when I hunch my shoulders, grit my teeth and prepare for the worst. Y’see, my agent can be brutal.
And when I say ‘brutal’, what I actually mean is BRUTAL!
So there you have it. The next book – this one is for younger readers – has now left my protection and has exposed itself to other eyes. I am hoping those eyes like what they see.
I don’t know how other writers feel at this stage. I sometimes wonder if they finish their book with a flourish, thinking ‘They’re gonna love this; it’s bloody brilliant!’ . . . or do they inwardly cringe? Does the final piece of work truly reflect the vision they had when starting it? Is it ever finished? Does it ever exceed expectation? Is it ever good enough?
I’m willing to bet that most of them cringe.
It’s the judgement.
We all fear the judgement.