The second draft of my novel is nearly done. It will still need a lot of work, but I'm going to back it up a disc and mail it to myself. This practice, if you're not familiar, is known as the "Poor Man's Copyright." This way, if someone claims I stole their idea, I can back it up with an unopened postmarked package with a date.
The writing part of the novel was a wonderful, excruciating, daunting, and delirious process. Now comes the part where I put it down for awhile (I found it surprisingly saddening to say goodbye to my characters) and get some distance from it. In the meantime, I am submitting it to some trusted writer friends who I hope will rip it to shreds. That way, it will already be beaten to a pulp before I think of submitting it to an agent.
I've also been told that I need to get some short stories published, otherwise an agent or publisher won't give my work a second look. I found a list of publications (and specs) to send submissions, courtesy of Poet & Writers magazine. The list can be found here. Since I'm also trying to break ground in the YA genre, I will see if I can draft up some material for a publication called Cicada.
The attempt to publish will I'm sure be even more excruciating, daunting, and delirious. It's like I've climbed an Everest, just to be presented with another Everest. I've heard horror stories. How getting published is like winning the lottery. That the business side of art is ruthless. How cold calls will be necessary. How I'll have to write probably ten more drafts of my novel before it's even readable. But hey, nothing worth doing is easy, right? At least that's what I'll be telling myself as my palms sweat and the nausea bubbles in my stomach.
-The Writer Librarian