Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Well...I like it

I emailed my complete and edited MS off to my agent yesterday. I'm a little nervous. I'd be a lot more nervous if I didn't have so many other things to worry about. I've got a room full of Girl Scout cookies and a mile long to-do list for my team mom duties for my daughter's baseball team. Also, I have spring coming up and I'd really like to do some spring cleaning. Right now I don't have the time to be chewing my fingernails in concern. I've done this before, always with disappointing results in the end and the world continues to spin as it has before, so getting too worked up is a waste of energy. I'm not trying to be a pessimist, but anyone who has had any experience with submitting knows the score. It's a longshot to get published and I've been through all of this before. In a way, I have no where to go but up.

Anyway, as I was editing, I realized how much I liked my MS. I thought it read well and it kept me turning the pages. It's clearly a winner...if I were running things. But that's how we writers feel about our work, or should. And that's the rub. How accurate is our own perception? When we submit to an agent, editor or contest, we think we've nailed it. But having just judged some Golden Heart entries, I realize how far off we can be. Whenever I get my packet of GH entries, I'm usually pretty excited. These are the best of the best, books that have either been in contests or have already started the submission contest. Back when I entered, it was stressed that this was a contest for mss ready for publication. Since all you get is a score with no feedback, its pointless to enter unless you think it stands a shot of winning. In this batch, I had two that met the criteria. The other three were no where close. Which made me wonder why they thought they were ready.

As a writer, how reliable do you think your perception is? Do you trust your judgement or do you look to others to give you an objective opinion? I had to wonder with these entries. Obviously they thought they were ready. So I had to wonder how off I was in my own opinion about my work. Can we be the best judge or our own writing?

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