Journal#24 – My latest MS? It’s in a ‘beta place’

Exciting times! My current work-in-progress has taken flight and is currently in the hands of a motley crew of beta readers. One – incredibly – has already finished it, and so I already have a few pointers to work on while I await the rest of my feedback.

But generally, having others read the book comes with a huge sigh of relief. Not only does it make the whole thing seem more real, more alive, but it also means that I can trust that my next editing steps are for the reader – not just me. Because when you’ve been staring at a manuscript for a while, you can end up spiraling down into a strange place where doubt, denial, and determination all become very confused, and you can end up making some very odd decisions with your story.

This is why it’s vital to step away, take a breather, and be patient.

Patience is NOT my best quality. I’ve had to get so much better at it since being first published. Whether it’s waiting for a reader to finish reading, an editor to finish editorial notes, an agent to finish their though-process, or for a long-awaited publishing date to come around – being an author comes with a LOT of waiting.

So it’s best to have more than one project on the go. This keeps your mind busy, and the cogs of your career turning.

In my case, I’m spending the next month or so looking back at a short series of three books that I wrote last year. They’re 90% of the way there, but I put them on ice while I copy-edited Mothtown with Angry Robot, and started my new novel (the one that’s with my trusty betas now).

I’m hoping 2023 is the year of results. Over the last two years, I’ve been working on several different projects – both long and short form – waiting for just the right time (contractually, more than anything!) to be able to see where they end up. And this year should be it. A busy one for my agent, anyway!

Until next time…



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