19. Woa, Nelly! Slow it Down!

19. Woa, Nelly! Slow it Down!

Part of the series “From Zero to Hero – Journey of a Novelist”
<– PREVIOUS | ZtoH TOC | A-Z TOC | NEXT –>

I just had a revelation: I can be good – damn good – if I would just slow down and take the time to be the best I can be.

The more I learn – and most especially every time I make a big ‘breakthrough’ in my understanding – the more I’m coming to think I can DO this.

I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I understand the dangers of newbie writers having unrealistic expectations. At the same time, I received some very encouraging paid feedback and that was before yet another breakthrough.

So now, here’s the thing: I know for a fact I have several areas I’ve messed up on. Plus, I keep having these unexpected breakthroughs. Every time I re-edit something major, I get even MORE excited about my writing. SO here’s the question:

Do I keep very low, very modest expectations, and rush off to sell my book without giving myself enough time to really make it shine? Just to get it out there?

Or, do I put the breaks on – do what it takes to bleed that thing dry, and then bleed it some more, and then try to publish it? But that means holding back my excitement and changing some plans and losing some committed money.

I made the mistake of signing up for a Writer’s Workshop. It’s not a mistake, but I also signed up for an Agent Pitch. Again, not a mistake, but my manuscript is not even 20% complete!!!!!! The workshop is September 10, and that only gives me 21 more weeks to both finish and edit my FIRST EVER manuscript.

That is NOT enough time. Not even CLOSE.

If I cancel that pitch, but still go to the workshop, I can really slow it down, and take pressure off. If I thought my writing kind of stunk, I might rush to see it through just to throw it out there and see who bites. I’d consider myself lucky if I got $500.

But if I take my time, because I’m better than the average (yea, my ego speaking), then wouldn’t I be better served by giving my very first novel the absolute most favorable light that I can put it in? Even if it means wasting money? Wouldn’t that make me look even better to Agents which may, in the end, get me a more aggressive deal with a better publisher (where I might ultimately get more readers)?

I think even Jane Friedman would agree: http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/there-are-no-rules/getting-published/persistence-doesnt-matter-if-you-make-this-common-mistake.

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