I am very, VERY pleased to say that I've finally finished the second draft of the book, which I've been working on for about a year and a half now. I'm going to take a few passes at it this week and then send it off to a freelance editor to take a wee look at it. Then I'll polish it up and all that jazz. I'm hoping this will only take a month or two and I'd love to take some time off to do this, but it's unlikely I'll be able to do so.
After all this is done I'll start looking for an agent. That's a whole other facet of writing that I've really not done a lot of research on yet. I have never even written a query, so after my manuscript goes out next week that's what I'll start working on. Since I love to read and do research, geek girl that I am, I'm actually looking forward to figuring some of this stuff out. I know enough to know that I should do a focused search for an agent and there are some online agent listings, but a lot don't have web pages, unfortunately. I find that a little strange. Of course, some people think I'm strange, so I guess it all evens out.
The Canadian Author's Association has a bunch of links about writing and getting published in Canada. The Writer's Union of Canada also has some useful information. I've also ordered a copy of the Canadian Writer's Market, but my trusty postman has yet to deliver it into my grubby little hands.
I guess that I should get emotionally prepared for all the rejection that's headed my way, but I just can't get that worried about it (and worrying is like breathing for me). I've read enough blogs and assorted rantings of published and aspiring writers to know that it's par for the course. My relationship with rejection is, thus far, pretty brief; I've only submitted two pieces of fiction, a short story, for which I received a very nice rejection note, and a postcard contest, where they just popped my entry into my *SASE and sent it on back to me. (I later read the winners, and they didn't do much for me, but the truth of it is that I'm not really a short fiction kind of a gal - although I have been making an effort to read it lately. In my younger years I wrote a lot of terrible short stories and some ferociously bad poetry, but at the end of the day I'm a bookworm; that's what I love to read, and it turns out that's what I love to write).
A quick Google search will reveal loads of musings about how hard it is to get published in Canada. Perhaps I'm more addled than usual these days, but reading articles like these just doesn't get me down either. I used to have delusions about making a living off of my writing, but I was tag teamed over cocktails one night by a published writing teacher and a writer friend of mine who let me know that the average Canadian writer makes $11,000 a year, knocking these ideas right out of my head (thanks a lot, Elaine!). Now I just want to get my work into print, and we'll see how it goes.
*SASE: Self addressed, stamped envelope.