Welcome to your Friday Morning FYI – my chance to share observations/wisdom/rants in short, easily consumed form.
I’m not generally one for broad catch phrases, but ‘It’ll be done when it’s done’ is one I like. As both a writer and trainer, I see a lot of impatience. Writers make up deadlines for finishing revisions, folks think they can be trained to an expert level on something in a day, etc. Were I not such a well-rounded human, it would be upsetting.
Still, I feel for those who impose unrealistic deadlines, writers in particular. I know how stressful that can be, because I used to do it. I wrote a book a year for three years straight. Queried the first two way before I should have, because I declared them done before they were, and because ‘I had to’ according to some dates I’d made up. I finished the first draft for the third in late 2016, and still haven’t sent it out wide. Some will call that dragging my feet, but I’ve worked on the book the whole time, doing everything I can to make it great rather than rushing it out the door at ‘good enough’ just to get rejected because it wasn’t.
And it’s so much better than it was a year ago, or six months ago, or three.
That leads us to this week’s FYI:
Sure, deciding to finish a first draft in six months is a good idea (here’s another phrase: ‘Just finish it’), but first drafts are normally a mess anyway. Revising your novel (one more: ‘Writing is re-writing’) will take much longer. Accept that.
You aren’t going to take your book from mess to awesome after one beta reader and a couple weeks of edits. You’re not.
No, you don’t have to query in February, or any other month for that matter. That’s in your head.
No, you shouldn’t pitch your book if you finished the first draft a month ago. Or two. Or probably three.
Don’t be so hard on yourself, and don’t rush (last one: ‘A writer’s worst enemy is impatience’). If you’re story is badass, agents and editors will love it when it’s razor sharp. Don’t risk them passing it over when it’s butter knife dull.
Huh, I guess I like catch phrases more than I thought.
Thanks for reading,