Fashionably late? Or half dressed?


So, I was editing my MSS FALLEN, and I was disgusted with myself.  I couldn’t actually believe I’d actually queried the silly thing.  It wasn’t ready.  And I couldn’t believe I’d been offered contracts on it, but then they must have seen something in it, and were willing to put a little editing into it, to make it truly shine.
But that brings me to today’s topic.  PATIENCE.  As most of my friends and family know, that is something I’m seriously lacking.  I want what I want, and I want it NOW! I’m not exactly Veruca Salt, but probably close to it.  The only difference between her and me is, I don’t sit back and make other people do things for me. I make it happen.  Or I at least try to.
But, in writing, patience is not a virtue; it’s a must.  Things happen on their own time and not a second sooner.  Knowing this, I had written FALLEN, proofed it and then sent it on its way, hoping to get a jump-start on the process.  Surely, the powers that be would see its genius.  That was, of course, before I knew what a beta reader or critique partner was.  Before I joined a writer’s group, and before I’d gotten ANY kind of feedback on it. 
Sure, I’d given it to my neighbor to read, but to be honest, I don’t think she ever read it.  I think she just kept telling me she loved it, because she didn’t want to hurt my feelings. 
So, of course, I thought it would happen almost instantly, fame, fortune, an awesome agent, not necessarily in that order, but it WOULD happen.  And sooner rather than later.  After all, Stephanie Meyers did it. 
It never dawned on me that she was the exception rather than the rule, and that publishing is a whole world onto itself.  Most writers are not overnight successes and if they are, they have to have the right book, at the right time.   It’s just as much a game of luck as it is one of skill.
Sure, FALLEN is great.  I’m still in love with it, but the editing mistakes I made, made me shutter when I was going through it “one last time” before sending it to my editor.  I realized then, what they meant by write the story, but then shove it in a drawer and come back to it a few months later, when it’s not so fresh in your mind.  It really is amazing what you’ll catch. 
Writing is so much like my time in the military.  “Hurry up and wait” became the motto of most of my fellow sailors.  From “p-days” to “graduation day,” it’s filled with hurry, hurry, hurry to do this, only to wait for the next four hours while the other 500 recruits who were rushed there ahead of  you.
In writing, it’s the same thing.  Hurry up and write the next best thing, so you can get it out to the agents, before the other 500 writers who are writing in your genre come up with the same thing and then wait 3-4 months for the obligatory rejections.
But one MUST take their time when writing.  At least to an extent.  It’s better to be fashionably late to the party, then to show up half dressed.
So take your time folks, use your resources, make your mss and query a must-see.  And above all, HAVE FUN!!  Writing is more than a job, it’s a passion. 

And to all my awesome friends, fans, and family have a Happy New Year!  May this year be better than the last for ALL of us.  Remember “You can shine, no matter what you do.” -Mr. Bigweld

2 Responses to “Fashionably late? Or half dressed?”

  1. nakia samples says:

    >very nice.

  2. Liz Czukas says:

    >Ooh, I originally tried to read this on my Touch and it wouldn't load. Then, with my amazing sieve mind, I promptly forgot. I'm glad I just found it because this is a great blog! Good entry, Jess.