When To Hit Send


I was talking with a writer last week who said, “I just want it to be perfect before I hit send.”

This is a good thing, but also a bad one. Now, this is assuming that you have edited all that you can, have passed it by your CP’s and taken their thoughts into consideration, and that it is grammatically correct.

I will assume that is all true for the sake of this argument.

So you have this manuscript that you have slaved over for months, and you finally feel good about it, but when you try to hit send, a little voice says, ‘but is it perfect enough?’

You hesitate, go back over it and examine every single word, tweak it even more, and try again. And still that annoying voice persists. At this point, you need to tell that voice that there is free chocolate torte being given away at the café down the street, and when they dash out the door, you hit send.

Here’s why.

It will never be perfect. 

Let’s repeat that. It will never be perfect.

If you can say that to yourself and really listen, it’s pretty freeing. Almost every agent or editor will have a different opinion. The thing is, if they fall in love with the story and the voice, everything else is negotiable. They can request revisions, they can offer on the spot, and they can say no thank you.

Also, taste is subjective. What one agent or editor rejects, another may love unconditionally. Where one sees problems too big to fix, another sees a well-plotted out story. You just never know, and trying to please everyone all of the time is a one-way ticket to the crazyville.

Trust in yourself, in your ability to write a great story, and if you’ve been sitting with your finger over the send button, just do it.**

It only takes one yes.   

** I need to reiterate that this is the point where you have edited that manuscript to within an inch of its life and you know deep down that is it really is ready. 




5 comments:

  1. Great post! I totally agree. I think, though, that maybe having your critique partners give their final opinion on your story is important, too, and will help you to further decide if you're ready. Thanks for the advice!(:

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  2. I agree...and reading it aloud and patience, lots of patience.

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  3. It's a terrifying thing, that send button. But one day I'll hit it. :)

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  4. i love this post. It's perfect timing for me too. I've got my ms in my ereader for about the 100th time, changing pronouns to proper names that I've already changed from proper name to pronoun, deleting every extraneous word and then putting some back because it ends up sound stilted. I think I need a twelve-step program. Or at least this post pasted on my screen.

    Thanks!

    Martina

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  5. I agree. I was hovering over the SEND button last August, not sure my manuscript was ready to send to my agent. My husband is the one who encouraged me to do it. "She needs to know what you've written," he said. "Get it to her." So I did.

    And yes, it needed revision. Conversion, even, from YA to MG, because it was hovering on the border and I was trying to push it the wrong way. But I would never have known that without her expertise judgment. I completed the conversion in 2 weeks, and 2 weeks after that, it sold.

    If you've done all you can, it's time to SEND and let a professional look at it!

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