Tip #36: Impress Yourself

Really? That's a writing tip? Isn't every artist usually impressed with himself? (at least when they're not wanting to drive off a cliff?)

The thing with writing for publication is this: things take a L-O-O-O-O-N-N-N-N-G-G-G-G time. You write the book then rewrite it then tweak it then have people give you their comments so you can tweak and rewrite more. You'll read it several more times and your view on it will change from love to hate to ambivalence. 

Before going through that process, you need to make sure you impress someone. 


Will you be able to give your book a fair assessment? Most definitely not. But you have to be confident in the book and the work you've done. You need to make sure you've done the absolute best you can. You need to feel goosebumps and be moved when you reread the book, at least before handing it in. 

I just had this happen this evening as I sent my teen novel in to the publisher and editor. I got to the end of the story and was impressed. 

A voice asked Who wrote this? 

A hand patted me on the shoulder. "I did."

Okay, I didn't literally pat myself on the shoulder. Maybe it was just a slight tap. 

The thing I know is that the book won't be published for another year. I'll have several people reading it. They might be moved to tears (probably not). They might respond in an email with a Job Well Done (probably so). They'll surely have input on how to make the story better (most definitely). That's all part of the deal. 

Write the book you need to write. Try to surprise and move yourself. The mystery behind why books succeed and fail is indeed a mystery. You might be able to analyze something after the fact, but when you finish a book, it's in the beforeland. Before publication and before reviews and before word of mouth. 

So when it's in beforeland, make sure you've done everything possible to give it a long life after it's published. You have to love it if the rest of the world is going to follow your example.

Labels: ,