Patience, Grasshopper

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Patience, Grasshopper

Category : Art

If this makes no sense you should probably find the time this week to rent The Karate Kid, the old one. Not because the new one is bad, but because they don’t use this fabulous line.

I am an impatient girl. I want results, now. I want to finish my book today and I want to publish tomorrow.

Thank God I can’t. It’d be terrible.

I read this sage blog post yesterday, by Kristen Lamb. She outlines some common killer-mistakes writers make when rushing into self-publishing. And she hit this nail right on the head! I don’t know much/anything about business. I’m doing well in some areas – still writing, a lot. But I’m not a whiz with the social media, not compared to some, and it’s the way to make self-publishing lucrative. I’m a sucky salesperson, I’m afraid. And maybe I just don’t want it badly enough.

But I do want to write. Of that I’m sure.

I’m writing my fourth novel; I’m nearly finished. I’ve been doing this a while and intend to do it a while longer. I’m getting better all the time. I read my old stuff and cringe. I read my newer stuff and smile. One day I might read that newer stuff and cringe…

I’ve queried agents and publishers, I’ve sent off partial and whole manuscripts, but no wins so far.

Loads of people have suggested self-publishing. I’m tempted, sure, but I’m wary. I want to put GOOD WORK out there and there’s a strong possibility the agents and publishers weren’t all wrong: maybe my stuff just isn’t up to scratch yet.

Self-publishing now would be motivated by impatience. I suspect I’d regret it. That’s not to say that self-publishing isn’t the way to go, when I am sure my work is ready.  But my work is not the only thing that needs to be ready. My “platform” needs to be ready (my online presence, etc.) and I need to be ready (for critics and nasty stuff, for fame and fortune, for whatever might come).

For now I’m focusing primarily on the writing. When I finish this draft I’m going to print it and rework, rewrite, ONCE. Then it goes in a drawer and I’ll go back to fixing and submitting my old stuff.

I need patience. And I need objectivity. Putting my fresh work in a drawer requires patience but it gives me something like objectivity. I need the objectivity for the next stage: fixing and submitting. And I need to be patient in this as well or I’ll find myself shipping off half-baked cupcakes and, at best, doing myself no favours, at worst, doing some damage.


3 Comments

Roland Clarke

August 7, 2012 at 12:11 am

You will get published as you seem to have the determination. You have two perfect creations already – your children – and that is a greater achievement.

Sounds so familiar as in the same process – barring the submission – writing a draft, working on another manuscript, editing first, new manuscript, editing…. just need to get courage to face rejection rather than my beta readers.

Ready to resort to self-publishing but maybe that’s because the trad route frightens me as that demands travelling and I’m disabled.

    amy

    August 7, 2012 at 10:22 am

    Thanks Roland! The kids are lovely but far from perfect 😉
    It certainly takes guts doesn’t it, putting your work out there. I hope you have friends/family who are readers and who can be honest and helpful at the same time – quite the skill!
    I have a few and they’re life-savers, but I hope to find a writers group as well – living in a non-english speaking country is complicating matters…

Roland Clarke

August 7, 2012 at 12:13 am

Oh and yesterday a grasshopper was on our back fence near my wheelchair ramp!!!