Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Scary vs. Stupid

"Here's my challenge: take some risks this month. Think about that thing you've been thinking you should do, or write, but you've hesitated because it's risky."--Ali

When I discussed this challenge face-to-face with Ali I had a really hard time thinking about what I was scared about as far as writing goes. Because, really, I've gone into this whole writing thing pretty cocky and just kinda jumped in with both feet. I've submitted. I've been rejected. I've been accepted. I've written things outside my comfort zone. I've done public readings (probably the most nerve-wracking but I've done a lot of theatre too, so I didn't sweat too very much). These are the reasons I love writing, because I can do these things and I'm not incredibly nervous.

Though submitting my novel is quite tremor-inducing.

But it's not done. So submitting it would be stupid. I mean, I like to think that someone would look at it and say "Damn, I can sell this on the first ten pages." Let's face it. Such is not the case. (Though the first ten pages are, of course, brilliant.)

Now I'm trying to think of something that will help me prep for the BIG submission process. The only thing I can think of is continuing to submit short stories. Because then I'm still exposing myself, if I can put it that way in a public forum, and opening myself up to the varied/wandering/opinionated opinions of others. The other thing I thought of would be to write a query letter--apparently incredibly important to the submission process--and make other people read it/give their opinionated opinions.

So, does the challenge count if I do this, and all it does is alleviate those original fears I had?


  1. I think it counts. The novel's not ready, but there are preparatory steps you can take to work up to it. So, do your query letter. I know you've already got some agents in mind, but what about finding a couple more? Work on tailoring your spiffy new query letter to each, too.

    Then, the only thing you need to work on is the novel itself, because your envelopes are already addressed and ready to go. Even if you're not physically sending your novel out there, you're getting yourself closer to that point of scary. Yeah, I'll take it.

  2. If you are hesitant to expose yourself, do it. That counts as meeting the challenge.

  3. I think it counts. And having people look at a query before it goes out is always a good idea.

    And they are a brilliant first ten pages.


Fellow thieves! Please feel free to let me know what you've taken from this post - or share pertinent information that you don't mind me stealing.