Ah, now it’s coming back to me: the feeling of restlessness, the guilty sense that I should have gotten back to work by now instead of pouring hours into blowing stuff up in Just Cause 2. I had forgotten about this part of the novel-writing process. But Hubris is still in the hands of a number of my beta readers, and I don’t feel that I’ve gotten enough feedback yet to mount a proper revision. I think I only need one significant rewrite, primarily to punch up the lackluster first chapter, before I’m ready to start the second big waiting game that is the query process. But for now I’m stuck on the first waiting game. You play this game by trying your hardest to respect the fact that your friends and family actually have other things to do besides reading your novel, and resisting the urge to prod them constantly about their progress.
The problem is, your well-meaning-but-busy acquaintances might actually need a little prodding, because otherwise they’ll simply forget to read your book. Or at least that’s what the devil on my shoulder is saying. I listened to him a bit too much with The Northerners, so this time around I’m trying to err on the side of patience. As of now there are three people who have read Hubris, and four who have a copy they’ve yet to finish. Feedback so far has been helpful (and mostly positive), but I don’t have a very strong sense yet of what I need to change. This is making me a bit antsy.
If worse comes to worst, I can probably pull off a decent revision on my own, but it’s hard to trust my own opinion after a certain point. Writing a novel is all about navigating self-doubt. At this point in the process, those waters get particularly muddy.