so i got a response from the final agent with my full manuscript - a rejection.
unlike the last rejection, this one left me feeling a little blue, only because i really liked what the agent had to say about my manuscript and know i would be able to work with her.
however instead of a "revise for me" letter, she wrote a "revise and resubmit" letter. that is a GREAT invitation, because her suggested revisions are so similar to those of Agent Almost, i feel like i have a place to send the new manuscript right away if Agent Almost ultimately rejects it.
bottom line - she liked it but didn't love it. i figure that's not too shabby for an agent who says she only requests one full out of every 50 to 80 queries and only takes on about 1 or 2% of the fulls she requests.
i feel good about that, but i am now in a scary place where all of my eggs are in one basket. the pressure to make my revisions perfect for Agent Almost has multiplied by a thousand.
it has me reading my revision letter over and over and calling my parents in the middle of the night to bounce ideas off of them. but one of those late-night freak-out calls resulted in some AMAZING advice that i want to share with all of you aspiring writers.
i'm paraphrasing here, but essentially, my dad told me:
"Take the notes from [Agent Almost], consider them, then do what feels right to you. Remember, he liked your first draft. Give him a chance to like your revisions. Don’t over-think it. TRUST YOURSELF."
the "trust yourself" is not paraphrased. that's a direct quote and a rule to live by.
i have to remember that i am revising for someone who already believes in me, in my story, in the words that came from inside me. if i stay true to that voice inside, then chances are he will like what comes next. but if he doesn't, at least the revisions/rewrites are still mine.
i am not guaranteed and agent or an editor or a publisher or readers. the only thing i know i will have FOR SURE at the end of all this is my book, so it better still feel like MY book.
and i think that attitude will ultimately result in the best final product. after all, who knows Butter better than I do? ;)
so i'd like to take my dad's advice and pay it forward... to any writer struggling with revisions (for betas, for an agent, for an editor, etc...) just remember:
TRUST YOURSELF .