I have to admit that when I sent my second, so-called ‘improved’ query to QueryShark, I was totally discouraged (i.e. devastated) by Janet’s reply. She questioned my writing ability, said the second was no better than the first. What? How dare she dash my hopes like that??? Buuuutttt….darn her, she was right. A few days later I had a dream that I was in a large room with lots of writers and editors and I was complaining that I needed an editor to help me figure out what was wrong with my writing. One of the attendees, don’t know if she was a writer or editor, got in my face, looked me in the eye and said firmly, “Be your own editor.”
I realize that didn’t mean I wouldn’t need an editor somewhere down the line, but it was a wake-up call. Instead of dragging around, depressed, I needed to work on the art of writing. But it wasn’t until a week or so ago, that I had a breakthough. I subscribe to Rachelle Gardner’s blog. Rachelle is a literary editor for Books and Such Literary Agency and is gracious enough to share her insights into writing and publishing with anyone wise enough to listen to her. In late February, she posted a link to an event hosted by Bryan Cohen, called “March to a Bestseller.” There were discounted books by many ‘craft’ writers and editors. Published authors would actually RESPOND to questions we asked. It was very insightful and I picked up many great craft books for only 99 cents. These books have helped tremendously. I already feel as though my writing has improved just by putting a few of their suggestions into practice. I am so very grateful to them for not hording their knowledge, but sharing good ideas with anyone willing to read them.
So I end this blog with a thought…I believe there are two kinds of writers: those who simply have a gift for it and with very little effort can produce a classic such as To Kill a Mockingbird, or Catcher in the Rye, and those who (like me) might, with help from knowledgeable people, be able to write something readable and enjoyable. Maybe not a bestseller, but at least a book they aren’t ashamed to put their name on.
And so, dear friends, I am once more at it, writing, editing, fretting and fussing.
I’m not ready to throw in the towel just yet.