All my life, I’ve thought that publishing or getting an agent would be my ticket. It would validate me, make everything worthwhile. But, more likely, I hoped it would make others see that I was a real writer.
Now I don’t care so much.
I’ve learned to enjoy the writing, not just the getting published part, which is a big step for me. I used to have enough information in my brain about agents to write my own manuscript wish list.
But I’ve taken two years off submitting. Two years where I’ve just focused on getting my writing where I want it to be. Instead of focusing on whether I’ve written something “they” would like, I’ve focused on whether I’ve written a book I like. Or more exactly, if the story I pictured in my head has made it to the page.
See, I’ve had problems with that too. So far, most of my books haven’t “said” what I wanted to say. Like stepping back from your painting and realizing it doesn’t look like the one you imagined, I’ve done that in my writing. And all the submitting or researching of agents didn’t change that.
But the difference now, and maybe the reason I’m not so nervous about sending this one out, is that I can tell from my critique partners’ feedback that what I wanted to convey with this book is conveyed. That, to me, is a better feeling than getting a request to see my work.
So, I can’t control whether someone else in publishing likes it, but I am pleased. I have done what I set out to do.
As Anne Lamott says in Bird by Bird: "...if you are writing the clearest, truest words you can find and doing the best you can to understand and communicate, this will shine on paper like a lighthouse. Lighthouses don't go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining."
What are your greatest joys about writing or publishing?
Insecure Writer's Group
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.
Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!
Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG
The awesome co-hosts for the April 6 posting of the IWSG will be Megan Morgan, Chris Votey, Viola Fury, Christine Rains, Madeline Mora-Summonte, L.G. Keltner, Rachna Chhabria, and Patricia Lynne!