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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Frozen (and not in the "movie-everyone-loves" kind of way)





This is my November post for Alex Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group, a lovely group of writers helping and inspiring other writers.  To read more from this amazing group, click here.

Here’s what’s open on my desktop right now.   
  •  Draft ten (but really draft seventeen because after a while I stopped numbering them) of my novel UNDER THE APPLE TREE, inching ever closer to the day I dare to send it out.
  •  A draft query letter for UTAT I reread every few days and tweak.
  • A synopsis for UTAT.  Same deal as above, it's in minor revision mode.
  • An Excel spreadsheet of all the agents who ignored I sent my last novel to. 
  • A new Excel spreadsheet for UTAT, with agents and contact information to which I’m still  adding. In an attempt to avoid a response that says, “Thanks, but this isn’t my type of project” I’m trying to be very discriminating this time. 

It’s all sitting there waiting for me to do something and I can’t decide if I’m frozen (and trust me, I am ), because UTAT isn’t ready to send out yet, or I'm just scared to let this one go.  And then, there’s timing.  The upcoming holidays make for a distraction.  Do I want to send my baby out to someone who is trying to clear the decks before vacation? 

This book is as good as I know how to write it. And yet, is it enough?  Some days I wake up thinking that the fact I’m questioning it means it’s not.

Listen to your voices, I say to myself.  So I wait.  And tweak.  And wait some more.

20 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

As Yoda says, there is only DO! Have faith in all of that hard work.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

To paraphrase that saying - perfect is the enemy of good. Are you waiting on "perfect"? You'll be waiting awhile. Believe me, I know. :)

Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption

mshatch said...

Have you had any readers give you their thoughts as to whether it's ready? I tend to hit send a little too soon but Madeline makes a good point, if you wait for it to be 'perfect' you may be waiting a long time.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Doing nothing, gets you nothing. Be Brave (another Disney movie).

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Is your blog background different? I've heard different theories on sending out queries close to the holiday season. I think you'll feel relieved and 'thawed' if you send it on.

Daisy said...

It's hard to know sometimes when to stop tweaking and take the plunge. I'm sure you'll know when the time is right. Best of luck to you when you do send it out! :)

Jennifer Hawes said...

I've heard that querying agents anytime of the year (except if they are closed to queries) is fair game. They won't turn down a great piece of writing even when it's a holiday:) Good luck!

Joanne said...

I have faith in your writing. Thaw out and Let It Go...........


good luck

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Don't let the time of year stop you. I queried THE agent right at the beginning of December and had an offer of representation within a week. Best Christmas present ever! Agents don't stop working just because holidays are approaching.

Robin said...

I admire your persistence. I agree with Dianne... don't let a time of year stop you. You never know when it will all Click.

Feather Stone said...

I've had this situation with my water color paintings. How much work in adding detail is enough? Instructors will tell you that you can destroy a work of art by overworking it. So how do you know when you've achieved the final stroke of the brush? Step back from the piece and look at it with fresh eyes. And trust your gut. Your intuition will guide you if you listen with a non-judgmental view. In other words, park your analytic mind at the door and let your heart speak. I think this can apply to any creative process. Good luck.

Yvonne Osborne said...

There is a great article in the Nov/Dec issue of Poets and Writers has a great article on rejection letters. Read it, if you can.

Bottom line, we often lose heart when the rejections come in. We hear "The work is no good" when what they mean is "I don't want to represent or publish this work."

If it's as good as you can write it, I say query it. Query until the cows come home and then start another. Just never give up.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Well....you know what I was trying to say in that first paragraph when I doubled back on myself!

Jan Morrison said...

Leap! Leap oh frabjous gal! You are such a wonderful writer - I cannot wait to see what comes forth! The place that confounds you is absolutely where you should be.

Stephen Tremp said...

Hello Liza. long time no see. All your hard works eventually pays off. But eventually, you'll have to stop and go to the next step such as a critique group or send the query to a publisher. Good luck with everything.

Julie Musil said...

Liza, i can totally understand that frozen feeling. In my case, it was FEAR! It may be fear for you as well. If you're only doing minor tweaks, chances are it's ready. You can test the waters with a few queries now, then wait until after the holidays to send more. And once you've taken that leap, the best thing to do is start writing the next book! Good luck to you :)

Cathrina Constantine said...

I understand your dilemma. I feel my ms is never polished enough. But one day you must say enough is enough and just start submitting it and see what kind of response you receive.

dolorah said...

Perhaps wait and not tweak? I'm sure its ready to go, but you may be right about the timing. Its a quandry.

Carol Kilgore said...

Put the manuscript away until after the new year. Start a new project, even if only the prewriting part. Or write a short story. After the holidays, pull out your manuscript again and read it as you would read a library book - which means without a pencil in one hand. Then see what you think.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Carol's advise sounds good to me. If you aren't "sure" yet, maybe it's a good idea to set it aside for a while, and then look at it again with fresh eyes. OR if you truly believe it's as good as you can make it, go for it now. I honestly believe it's possible to "edit" and "improve" a work forever if we let ourselves. At some point, we have decide we are done. Not an easy decision, but I have confidence in you.