February 1st, 2011

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Nothing (and Everything) to Lose

Here's what I have learnin in writing SMASHING over the past six (6!) years.

1. Just write it and shut up about it.
2. Write it again.
3. Write it again.
4. Clean up your typos.
5. Now really, go back and look for typos, because you half-assed it the first time.
6. Seriously, get out the red pen and sit still until it's done.
7. Now throw out everything and start the book again.
8. This time, when you start writing, really, truly start again. Don't think about what you can save from a previous draft.
9. Did I mention that outlining would be helpful, because it will.
10. Screw outlines.
11. Typos are the devil. They're there just to mess with you. They're like gnomes. Evil bastards.
12. No matter how many lists you make about all you've learned from writing a book as many times as you have, there's still more you'll probably need to learn and a lot more painful criticism headed your way.
13. On that note, get over yourself.

Which is to say, I'm sending out my book again. I've started by sending two letters to literary agents who read it in previous versions. I've already had one response to send the draft, and I have. I will try to play it cool and not check my email every five seconds to see if she's written back to tell me she adores my book and wants to represent me.

That said, it has been properly established that I am hopelessly uncool.

I've decided that I have nothing to lose. If this book isn't what I think it will be, then I will write another. My goal is to be a professional and write great stories. Not to be so wrapped up in my own dreams of literary glory that I forget that writing is a business, and a subjective one at that. Okay, yes, I will probably have a hissy fit and sulk a great deal more I already did when it hit me that if several sources told me my characters were flat that meant it was true and I had to get over it and start over again.

But after I sulk, then it's right back to being a professional.

Right now that means getting  my butt in gear and logging into my work computer so I can get something done during the Snowpocolypse. 

Maybe I'll just check my email first. She's had the book for what, 30 minutes? That should be enough time, right?

:P