Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Stop before you start

I know this sounds like a strange concept, but it really is something all writers should do before he or she begins any project. Before you do anything, whether it is begin a new writing project, send out submissions to editors, sign up for pitch sessions, enter contests, it doesn't matter, you need to simply stop and think.

Are you ready to do this. Have you clearly thought everything out or are you just running with an unbridled enthusiasm? If it is the later, you need to rein it in a bit and think.

In the last few weeks, I have seen a ton of writers sending me manuscripts for consideration that, if they had taken a few minutes, might be in a better place. Instead, that rush to "get published" only resulted in a rejection letter.

Look, you only get one chance at this. I mean it. That manuscript you send out, whether it is for a submission or a contest only has one chance with that one person. If you get a rejection for something really stupid, then there is nothing you can do about it.

This market is just too competitive right now and you can not afford to waste that one shot.

1 comment:

  1. I know I sound like a brown-noser when I say I agree so much with you, but I do...

    There are blogs out there that I have found that agents will actually critique query letters...often your first and ONLY impression to an agent.

    That being said, be prepared for some BRUTAL honesty! Don't be offended by any criticism you receive. Use it as a learning tool (just like this blog), and make your work BETTER!

    My first attempt at a query letter was a complete DISASTER! It was trashed on a critiquing blog by an agent worse than any other post on the site (believe me, I looked). It has only made me step back and take a look at not only my query, but the story as a whole.

    Use everything and anything you can learn from agents and other writers!

    :) Terri