Monday, June 3, 2013
A writer is the most impatient of all the worlds artistic creatures. Being one myself, I know this for a fact. When I paint it could take months to finish a piece and that doesn't really bother me at all. Books on the other hand are a whole other beast. Even during the first draft (I'm well known for this, ask Lachelle Redd or Christine James) paragraph by paragraph, we want to show someone for any form of validation we can get and to feel for just one moment that our work is worth a damn. When the time comes that we finally do finish the first draft, we're so elated that we often jump to sending it off to everyone and their brother before a single edit has been made. More often than not, if we made the mistake of sending this first draft to an agent or publisher this leads to a rejection - that we also are forced to wait anywhere from weeks to months to receive and have our hearts torn out of our chests, not that we can act like it. Worse yet, if you're anything like me there's a very good chance that the entire thing has been redone and you're wondering how long you have to wait in agony before resubmitting.
If it's your first book it won't be the first time that happens. My first book I must have redone a hundred times or more. In fact I kept working on it until the day my publisher ripped it from my hands to send it to print. I made the poor woman crazy. Either way, the lesson here is that we've burned ourselves without need. Why? Because the waiting game is murder and we just couldn't stand to wait through a dozen betas, re-writes and edits. Do you think i learned this the first time I stuck my hand in the fire? Hell no... Again, WHY?! Because it's our book and we think it's a freakin masterpiece! And with any luck, we'll survive this journey with our spirits in tact and prove our worth before we're dead and gone. Well anyways... after what felt like the millionth rejection, I finally realized I was doing something wrong. Rather than give up, I became more determined than ever to find out what exactly that was. As it turns out there was way more wrong with it than I realized. For years I became obsessed with the technicalities of writing.
I was astounded there was a difference between writing a novel compared to writing something like an educational book. I could go on for ages about what I've learned and I do have other articles out there that go over all the little tips and tricks I've learned and am learning every day- but for this round what I want to share and express is how important it is to care ENOUGH about your book to give it the respect it deserves and do whatever it takes to make it the best it can possibly be. Never stop educating yourself. Never believe you're work can't possibly improve but always be confident in yourself because you know that you have given your written work of art all of your best. Your book is your heart, you wear it on your sleeve. If you're gonna put it out there, do it right. Show the world your best and then no matter what happens from there, you can be proud of that and yourself.
Don't give up.
From the desk of Jacquelynn Gagne, cofounder and Editor in Chief of Ambrosia Arts and Midnight Hour Publishing