The Next Step

Hey…guess what?

I finished my pre-beta edits!!! That is sooo crazy! I really never pictured myself finishing my novel, let alone actually getting these edits done and getting it sent out to beta readers. Of course, now that I know how much I love to write, all I really want is to be an author. I’m a realist and understand most people never get to do that for a living, but I’m no good at anything else and have to hope.

I am beyond excited to get the beta feedback, but also really afraid. I’ve asked for honesty from my betas, and I really do want it, but I’ve never shared outside friends and family before. All of the people who have read it up to now like it, which has been a confidence boost for getting it finished, but now I’m handing it over to strangers. It’s important to do this, in order to have your MS judged by the non-biased people with space for an honest perspective. I know this, and yet I instantly got nauseous when I hit “send” on GoogleDrive.

The panic has set in. What if it’s horrible? What if I’m not cut out for this? What am I going to do if I flop on my face? I know I need to be able to handle criticism and advice, but I haven’t been truly critiqued since probably gradeschool. This. Is. Terrifying.

Knowing I need to keep busy, I’ve got a to-do list a mile long. I need to write all the “extra” pages, Acknowledgements and whatnot. I have my cover done, but need to figure out the spine and back dimensions for submitting to Amazon. I’m not sure my colors are quite right, since the way things look on the screen can be different than what actually prints. I need to prep to apply for a copyright, and research places other than Amazon that I might consider putting up my work. I may not be able to edit right now, but I do plan to work on the formatting during the next month.

Hopefully, all that, plus the other stuff I have to do, will keep my mind off of wondering what my betas are thinking…hopefully.

After my betas are done, in mid-July, I’ll have to edit again with their recommendations. I’d like to publish in August or September at the latest. I’m nervous. There are so many “what ifs” that I’m unsure of. I’ve even started worrying about how to do my taxes and wondering about what other stuff I don’t know about this profession.

I’ve kept my cost to a minimum by making my own cover, and I’m not hiring an editor. I’ve been told I should, but I haven’t held a job in a long time (for health reasons), so I have to make do with what I have and cross my fingers.

I really should start yoga or something…this anxiety is already getting out of hand.

Let me know in the comments if you’ve gone through the same thing, are in the process, or will be in the near future! If you’ve done it before, how did you deal with it? Are there any tips/tricks that made it easier for you?

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