Friday, July 21, 2017

Don't Rush Your Writing

If you are currently at a conference (PNWA 2017 for example) or getting ready to head out to RWA Nationals next week, I want to again remind all of you to not rush! Far too many authors hurry through their writing and rush to get that story to an editor or an agent, and end up sending work that really could use a lot more work. They pitch to editors and agents when they are not ready to make the jump into professional writing. Slowing down may be the best option for you.

Over the years, I have had several authors with some pretty good writing who rushed things. In the excitement of a conference, they pitched stories that were great, but mentally, they were not ready to make the jump. Although they were given opportunities, being unready to move forward was a negative. For three of them, they never returned to the writing they fell in love with. The frustration of not being ready was too much for their writing.

I would also add that many of you will hear things at conferences about new lines, or new editors and agents looking for things and you too will rush to get a project to them. You have this great idea, but now, you end up sending out a story that is not quite right. Maybe the writing is flat. Maybe there are huge plot errors. In your effort to get the idea to them, you simply did not see those mistakes. But you sent it anyway, and sure enough, that story gets a rejection. Had you taken the time to really make sure that piece of writing was great, that rejection may have been an offer.

I know there is a desire to be one of the first to an editor or an agent. I know there is a desire to show that you can work fast. But that rushing may be your downfall. Publishing will always be there. If the story IS really good, there will be people who will be interested. You have to give it time.

It is also important to know that just because you are at a conference and there is a pitch opportunity, it does not mean you need to pitch then. You have to be mentally ready to make the move. Trust yourself. Trust your gut instinct. It is OK to just say no.

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