On Monday, the day before my big deadline (my 23rd birthday,
I'm very conservative about the kind of reception my first submission is likely to receive. For one thing, I went for a very small, one-woman agency. This means that, while there might be more chance of my manuscript being seen, there's also a far slimmer chance that the agent is going to have the time/space on her books to take me on. However, I made sure the agency was tailored towards my genre (fantasy and young adult, even though I'm unsure about the age restrictions as of yet) and I've seen plenty of favourable recommendations, the most subtle of which describes her as "a lovely lady", which I hope will improve my chances of at least not being completely shot down. Even if I do get nothing but a rejection slip though, I'm so glad I've done it.
Last week I went to a novelist support group, run by the same group as the manuscript critique group. While I'm beginning to sound like a addict going through rehab, going to these meetings has been very helpful. Apart from anything else, writing is a lonely occupation, so meeting other people going through the same experience is always reassuring. I was also able to take away the kind of success stories that encourage me not to give up before I've tried.
There was another scary moment to confront this week, when I finally told my parents about my writing. As I've mentioned before, I've not told many people about my ambitions, so telling Mum and Dad was daunting for me. They were both so supportive though and interested to find out more about what I've been doing. I'm glad I waited until there was 'something to tell' though: I don't think I could have coped with having to answer endless questions while I was in the midst of first draft fever!
I've got another submission ready to send off in the morning (when, hopefully, I'll have figured out how to fluff that cover letter into shape) and I'm hoping to have at least one or two more sent by the end of the week. It's a really scary time, but I'm ready for the rejections to do their worst. Maybe I'll even find my Fairy God-Agent some day!