Monday, March 6, 2017
Sure, there are some anomalies wherein a rookie writer hits a home run and gets his first manuscript published. But it's really not likely. Nor is snagging your dream agent (or any agent) at your first writer's conference. Let go of your expectations and just enjoy the writerly journey. Everyone progresses at a different rate.
Currently I'm in about the twelfth read-through of my novel that releases in September. Yep. You read that right. 12. A little excessive? Maybe, but I honestly wouldn't mind going through it another 12 times. But here's the deal -- no matter how hard I or you work to make things perfect, they will never be. There's always going to be something else to fix or change. After editing to the best of your ability, you have to let your manuscript go.
A scathing critique. Agent or editor rejections. 1-star reviews. Losing the glorious award that will show the world what a rockstar you are to another author. If you don't let go of your pride these things are going to really hurt. And even if you humble yourself, they still sting a bit. The writing profession, or really any of the arts, is no place to go around thinking you're better than anyone else because there will always be someone better than you out there.
Getting published by one of the big five doesn't make you a writer. Having a huge tribe or rocketing sales numbers or signed contracts doesn't make you a writer. Writing makes you a writer. Let go of whatever you think it is you need to accomplish before you can call yourself a writer.
Nobody knows what they're doing. Yeah, they might sound like it, but deep down inside every writer is a crying baby scared of his own shadow. Fear and doubt are normal emotions that every writer holds hands with now and then. But splay your fingers and let them go. Don't wallow in those insecurities.
Letting go is a great trick to master if you want to persevere in the writing biz. So go on, channel your inner Elsa and belt it out. You'll feel lots better if you do.