My oh-so-fabulous mentor has given her pronouncements on my latest draft. She used terms like 'paradigm shift', 'honed skills', 'I'm blown away by the improvements', 'tweaks only', 'publishable book', and 'give yourself a huge glass of champers'. And this, from an evil hatchet woman who minces other people's words but not her own, is high praise indeed.
So, next week ish, my book will probably be heading off to an agent. Again. And I think it's that last little five-letter word which is the reason for my lack of excitement, woo-hoo-ing, and champers. You see, I've been here before - albeit not with such classy mentoring (or, in fact, any mentoring) and yes, let's be fair, that does make a sizeable difference. Perhaps there is more chance this time. But perhaps not. I don't know, and I bet you don't either.
What I do know is that agents want to find new authors whose work they believe in. There is a fair chance that I might turn out to be one of those authors. But there are no guarantees, not even after all the years of hard work. The distance between a publishable book and a published book is immense. If I find an agent, I'll be pleased, probably very pleased. I know, though, that even then, there's no guarantee of a publishing deal. And if the book is published, it could disappear without trace.
I've been working on writing a publishable book for a long time, and I'm happy to have reached this point. But it's a very quiet sort of happy, that doesn't come with fizz and whoops and jumping up and down.