Friday, August 7, 2009
Are you sure your query or book or whatever is ready?
As writers we're so often asked/advised, "Are you sure that piece of writing is ready to be seen?" This inquiry expands to have you read and re-read, edited and revised until your eyes are crossed? Well of course it's ready if you have and don't let those naysayers put doubts in your mind about your own work.
Now I'm not saying there isn't a lot of work involved in writing. Someone once said, and I can't remember where I heard this (sorry) that writing a novel is something like being handed a paring knife and sent out into the woods to whittle a mansion. That's not too far off.
But here's the thing. I'm getting kind of tired of reading articles or posts or hearing from someone -- "Are you SURE it's ready to send out?"
There comes a point where the thing is being beaten to death. There comes a point when the writer has to say, hell yes it's ready to send out! The reality is you can change your writing forever. You can edit, nit-pick, go around for the 1000th time and still find something to change. But there is a point where you must stop, get it together and send it out. Whether it is a query, an article, a script or a manuscript. Find that place, stop questioning and get your work out there.
Are you going to be rejected? It'll be some kind of a miracle if you aren't, repeatedly. And of course you'll be sending out your best work, I think that message has been gotten out loud and clear, but you must send it out if you hope to have it published.
I wouldn't have had Eye of The Hawk published if I hadn't sent it out. Stormrider wouldn't have seen the light of day if I hadn't decided it was ready. My recently published Ebook for young and new writers, Out of Thin Air, would still be in a drawer if I hadn't had the confidence to launch it.
Sometimes it can be hard to dredge that self-confidence up from your gut. Many writers suffer from the desire to get their work published conflicting with the fear of putting it out there. Confront that fear and hesitation. Understand that the people who read what you write are pretty much like you. Publishers, editors, agents are people just like you. They have their likes and dislikes, their bad days and their good.
Over the years I've learned that all of that factors into what they choose to promote, publish, whatever. And, I've learned to find that place where I've done the best work I can do and it is time to put that writing out there. Will there be revisions and edits after that? Undoubtedly. But there must be a beginning point and as writers we have to figure out where that is and move forward.