Don’t give up on your manuscript before the magic happens.
We’ve all heard about the writer who doesn’t trust his own ability, who thinks his material is insufficient, who wonders if or why anyone would read his work. I get that. No matter how many times I’m published or how many great reviews I get on my books, I still have questions. But I’ve learned what I need to overcome.
Fear is a major stumbling block for many of us. Fear that the piece won’t be good, fear of ridicule, fear of failure … fear of success. Courage will overcome fear.
My favourite definition of courage is “facing your fear but doing it anyway.” The next step is simple, albeit not always easy. Get on with it. Believe it or not, time will pass whether you write your piece or not. If you don’t, you end up with nothing. Conversely, if you persevere you will succeed. So, create it anyway.
Follow this simple edict and you will have a manuscript, even if you are not satisfied. Congratulations! Now go over it again. Read with the eyes of a reader, as if it was written by someone else. Then rewrite where necessary.
Once it’s perfected … remember that it isn’t. Have it edited. Chances are you need to pare material from the narrative, reword some areas and shift things around. None of us can do this alone. Find an editor you can work with. Check their credentials and previous work, and then trust in the process.
The editor’s task is to ensure that your piece maintains a specific direction, removing what inhibits that focus or isn’t essential. They will help your readers remain targeted. A good editor can also assist with the structure of the piece so it is chronologically or logically delineated. Your story gets refined and then polished to a sparkling lustre.
Remember, the editor’s suggestions are intended to help make your work better. They are not condemnations. That said; they are only suggestions. You still own the power to accept or reject their ideas. Use the opportunity to learn, but stay in control of your work and your voice.
Follow up with a strong proofreader. Don’t try to proofread your own work. It is said that if you do you will read what you thought you wrote. The result is missed errors, omissions and typos.
Whether submitting to a publication, on social networks or posting on a blog, your baby is now ready to share with the world. The next step is easy.
Start your next piece.
After 40 years in Yukon Norm Hamilton now lives on Vancouver Island where he is meeting new friends and experiencing new adventures to write about. His popular novel, “From Thine Own Well” is a dystopian account of Canada’s future. Find him at http://normhamilton.ca/writer and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NormHamiltonWriter.
From Thine Own Well Enter a dystopian Canadian society that reviewers agree is frighteningly feasible. Corporations control the government. Deaths and destruction result. Fracking and irresponsible mining contaminate watersheds and citizens have lost their rights.
The Digital Eye Do you want a fun, simple way to improve your photography? Within minutes, each article in this book helps you make better images.