Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The End is Only the Beginning

If you think your job as a writer ends with The End, think again. I am a handful of words away from completing the first draft of a novelette that came from nowhere. I started looking at the requirements for submission to the ePublisher I targeted and broke into a cold sweat. Sure, I looked at them before when the thought of actually going through the process was still a pipe dream but now that I am this close, I wanted to be prepared. My first reaction was "I have to do what? What does that look like? Can I see some examples please?" Bear in mind it is not a complicated process that requires a degree in rocket science. I tend to exaggerate at times.

This might be a good time to mention that I am rather shy and intimidated by things I have not done before. I like to know what I am getting into before I leap. All right, I lied. I want someone to do it for me. Give me an example I can model mine after. Show me how it looks or works the first time around so I will get it right the next time. Hold my hand while I stroke the beast until I am comfortable enough to do it by myself.

What if it isn't formatted correctly? What if my paragraphs are too long? What if I do it so damned wrong that my brilliant novelette doesn't see the light of day because I suck at the preliminaries? So the other trait I harbor is perfectionist. I must be perfect, therefore my work must be perfect upon presentation. We all know that is a ridiculous notion right? Tell my inner editor that.

I feel completely stupid. I don't love my story because I think it sucks. I am certain everyone else will think it sucks as well. Am I afraid of the end? Am I one of those people who makes it to the finish line and cannot step across? If I am, them I am pursuing the wrong dream.

Bottom line - I am making this harder than it needs to be. Ask me again tomorrow and I might be floating on air at a mission accomplished. This might also be a good time to mention I am unpredictable.


  1. I don't know if it helps or not, but I feel the same all the time. One day, I'll be on top of the world. The project is coming together, characters are speaking to me, ideas for a new project are flying out of nowhere. The next day I feel horrible, everything I've written is awful and I can't believe I've published it. (Really, what was I thinking?)

    It's a roller coaster ride, and I can only guess it's because it means so much to us that our emotions fluctuate so strongly.

    Don't worry. Submit it. I believe in you. I haven't read your story, but I believe in it too.

  2. Have you received any rejection letters, or any biting critiques from fellow writers?

    Treasure them and count them as trophies of battles when you do get those. It takes time and effort on the part of slush readers and editors to analyze your piece careful and write up more than two lines of thoughts on what they have read. Honest feedback are so very precious!

  3. Nina,

    I know this is normal and I think one reason I am constantly editing or 'perfecting' what I write is because I want it to make the best impression. My biggest fear is submitting a piece and then realizing I should have beefed up one paragraph or another. This is also why I could never quickly crank out an update. It needs to feel finished and I don't like to go back and edit once I post something.

    I will admit the submission process is scary. Writing a query, writing a synopsis, all of it.

    Your faith in me means a great deal. As a writer that I greatly admire, it is high praise. Thank you.

  4. Lepifera,

    I have not received any rejection letters or biting critiques yet. I did have one person tell me that I am not "really a writer" because of the genre I chose. Each to his own I say.

    I hold no illusions for myself with the publishing process. I don't hold myself above any other writer I know. If and when I get a rejection, I will look at it as a learning experience. Honest feedback without cruelty or misplaced envy is always welcomed. I am level-headed and know I have room to grow as a writer. My biggest goal is completion and putting it out there.

    Thank you for the advice. Honest feedback is most definitely precious.


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