Category Archives: Editors

To Send or Not to Send?

I managed to talk myself up into this one. I wrote the chapter and edited like a mad-woman who may be allergic to a misplaced comma. The story-line was set, the characters were strong, and everything was formatted just how it needed to go. Finally it was time to send it off, and moving my pointer to the send I found I simply could not. What could possibly be wrong? I went over the chapter again and again. What’s wrong is that the “could happen” after “Send” is pressed may also turn into a rejection (or worse, being ignored).

I know that I am not the only writer to have trouble hitting the “send” button. Great writing requires a certain vulnerability. That being said, rejections can be taken personally. I have since come to terms with this knowledge and when hitting the “send”, I remind myself that this isn’t the end, but the beginning. Truthfully, rejection can be a good thing sometimes. It can show you areas where you need to grow and to strengthen your writing. Rejections should not be personal attacks, but a chance to better yourself.

Even when you doubt, hit the send button. Let it out. If you’re accepted, awesome! Way to go for the dream! If you’re rejected, don’t quit! This is a chance to improve and to become better. Success belongs to those who don’t quit. Close isn’t close enough. Don’t fall into the trap of, “at least I tried”. Go for the goal! Hit send!

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Filed under Agents, Authors, Books, Editors, Publishing, Queries, Writing

T*M*I For Writers

As writers, there are many times that we find ourselves in a place where there is TMI. This can stand for many things:

  • Too much information
  • Too many interruptions
  • Too much internet
  • Time management inability
  • Typical manuscript ideas

*Too Much Information*

We all do it. As writers, we have a love for details and sometimes we get a bit carried away. It is true that we want to paint a portrait for the reader to picture the place and the story that we envision, however there is such a thing as going too far with the details. Mention what is important to hold together your framework, but let the dialog and story-line color everything in. When there are too many details, there is a tendency to lose the story in the process. For example you may be writing a story about a bee and get caught up in the details about the flowers, and the field that the flowers are in and the people who own the field, etc. It isn’t hard to take rabbit trails. So when it comes to details, ask yourself, “Is this detail necessary to create for the reader the vision that I am seeing?”

*Too Many Interruptions*

How often have you planned on sitting down to write that novel (book, article, etc.) and your butt has hardly touched that chair when something comes up and you suddenly find yourself with hardly a start and no time to sit down. Interruptions happen every day. But if something is important to you, you’ll find a way and if it isn’t, you’ll find an excuse. If you are finding there to be  a lot of interruptions, then pay attention to when those interruptions are coming and schedule a set time that you will write. Do your mornings have a bit of quiet time? Afternoons? Evenings? Even writing by hand before bed and typing it up later. Try to write every day, even if it is just a few sentences, or only 5-15 minutes. That bit of time will go a long way in the end. Manage your interruptions as they come. Determine what is something that needs to be taken care of immediately, and what can wait 15 minutes for you to finish the time you set aside to write.

*Too Much Internet*

I am guilty. Even in the midst of writing this post I have multitasked with other internet applications. The internet is an amazing tool, but it can also be a great hindrance to productivity. I will admit that there have been times when my internet would go out and I forgot that the rest of my computer still worked! Go ahead. I give you permission, turn off the internet or give yourself a two-tab rule. One tab is open for writing. One is open for research purposes only. You can handle an hour with limited internet.  Better yet, open up a word document and write – no internet. I promise that you won’t die. Set yourself either a word goal or a time goal, when you reach it you can reward yourself with 15 minutes of internet. You won’t believe how much more you will get done this way!

*Time Management Inability* 

If you want to write, you need to learn to manage your time. Making deadlines is of utmost importance, so you need to practice this. If you are always in a rush or running late, then you need to learn to manage your time before you can manage writing for profit. In my personal experience, excellent time management starts with one right decision. Set up a schedule and stick to it as best you can. Give at least 5-10 minutes between each of your tasks to give time to finish or to clean up. For example if you are going to write 11-11:30, don’t start lunch at 11:30, put it in at 11:40 or 11:45. Also when your making your schedule or list of things to be done – prioritize. What needs done TODAY? What needs done this week. What would be nice to have done but can wait? This will help you in the long run. Even something so simple as going to bed at an earlier hour and waking up early can make things go so much more productively. Try it out for 2 weeks and see what a difference it makes for you.

*Typical Manuscript Ideas*

This isn’t to say that your story is boring. You may have some great ideas, but do try something original. Think up something that has never been done before. Then, once you do, figure out why it’s never done before. Either it is so brilliant that no one thought it up before unique only to you, or there is a reason it has never been done before – do your research. (Yes, that is permission to use the internet.) We need something new and fresh on the shelves (or in that magazine, on the webpage). What are unique ideas that you have to offer?

What are your thoughts or experiences with these TMI’s? Feel free to discuss!

~Brittany

 

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Filed under Authors, Editors, Writing