But now it's done. I can't think what else to do to it to improve it. It's the best I can do, for now anyway. So what do I do with it? The short, commercial, lighthearted novel I wrote last year is currently sitting in an agent's cyber slush pile. Do I try and find a different agent for this one? Would it be really weird if two different agents took on two different novels?
Is that ever likely to happen???!!!???!
I had thought to find a publisher instead. Virago, I thought. They're perfect. They'll like this. It's right up their street. But they don't accept anything that hasn't gone through an agent. Is it worth my while to keep looking? Most publishers' doors are closed nowadays. I remember running into this problem a thousand times long ago, doors obstinately closed in my face because I wasn't enough of a celebrity - let alone a human being - for any publisher to bother with.
So why don't I just self-publish this one too?
Because I've failed as a self-published author - not because my writing is bad (it isn't brilliant but the most successful self-published authors, I've noticed, write utter garbage) but because I'm not very good at the marketing side of things, it would seem. I would love some help and that kind of help would come from an agent.
And in the end, really, I just really, really want my books in a pile at the table near the door of Waterstones. I want people to read my books. I think This Difficult Novel is worth reading. I worked my bloody arse off on it.
The magic of that first day, when I wrote the first page, eventually wound up in the novel. The magic is there. I just wish others could find it too.