Monday, September 3, 2012

Writerly Self-Restraint

There are a lot of things we try to resist as writers.
Source  Sometimes we need a little help

We sit on our butts all day so it's important that we limits sweets and wine (but not coffee; that should be limitless). We love books so it's hard to concentrate on writing sometimes when there are some many good books in our TBR piles. Let's not even get started on all the things we have resist putting in our manuscripts, like adverbs, cliches and obscure Warehouse 13 references.

For me the hardest thing to resist is...pitching.

Source  Here comes my awesome book. It's a strike!    
It feels like there are dozens of amazing pitching opportunities going on right now. And I want to play!

But I can't, or rather, I shouldn't.

WIP1 is technically available for pitching events and if I had to pitch at gunpoint right now, it's what I'd go with. But...I put in back on the bench last month. After getting some great feedback, I know there are some things that need fixing. So even though it's finished, and has been polished numerous times, it's not ready.

WIP2 is a completed draft that I have yet to read. I haven't taken a look at it in over a month since I typed "the end" and hit save. I'm letting it fully marinate, so it is no where near ready for public consumption.

WIP3 I am super excited about and this one is the hardest to resist. I don't even have a full first draft yet, but I can't wait to tell people all about it. Plus, as part of the Save the Cat method I already have a kick-a** pitch that is well within 140 characters. I could slap that puppy up on Twitter without batting an eye.

But I won't, because pitching a manuscript that isn't spit polished to within an inch of its life is one of the cardinal sins in the world of hunting agents. Since the first draft isn't even done, I'm thinking it's not ready.

It's hard to resist the urge to shove my work out into the public sphere, but I can do it. I just have to keep reminding myself that there will always be opportunities to pitch my work. The regularity of contests and agent focused events is one of the things that makes the online writing community so amazing.

So instead of focusing on the opportunities I'm missing right now, I'm getting my butt back in the chair and back to work. Because next time I see an amazing event, I want to strip off the straitjacket and dive on in.

10 comments:

  1. Is it tough sometimes not to dive in and put yourself out there. Good for you.

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    1. Thanks, Kelly. The extrovert in me struggles with this daily. But I will resist.

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  2. I feel you. It's tough. But don't you worry--Writerly Rejects will so do another one too ;)

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    1. You guys have had some great contests. You're definitely on my watch list for when this MS is ready. :)

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  3. Good luck with that pitching arm when the next opportunity presents itself.
    Catherine Stine’s Idea City

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    1. Thanks, Catherine. I'll be in the bull pen warming up till then.

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  4. Yeah, Sarah!!! It is always fun when you have several completed books when you pitch, but even if you have one, it can get scary. Bite the bullet when the next opportunity arrives and go for it. Goos luck!

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    1. Oh, you better believe the minute this thing is ready I'll be scouring the web for pitching opportunities. :)

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  5. Good choice about not querying (or pitching) too soon. I know it's SO hard to resist, but you have to put in the work to iron out all the little details and make it shine.
    Seriously, I put in so much work on the WIP I'm querying now that I got to the point where I didn't even like the thing anymore. :P (But I'm still hoping it hooks an agent!)

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    1. Good luck, Lexa. It's hard, but when an agent finds your gem in the sea of unpolished stones it will be worth it.

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