When you’re someone who works in the art forms, you have to have a certain amount of dedication and determination. Writing, music, artwork…these are difficult worlds to break into. They all require some unknown combination of talent and luck, and the only way to increase your chances is to just keep pushing forward relentlessly, creating more and more works and putting them out there with the hopes of some glimmer of success.
But sometimes you also have to step back and realize that you’re pushing too hard, and something is going to break as a result.
Two weeks ago I asked for guest post submissions so that I could focus on a project that I really, really wanted to get done. Within days of that post I realized that no matter how much I wanted to complete this project, there was simply no way that it was going to happen, and if I pushed forward anyway I was just going to end up hurting myself.
Long story short: a local publishing house called Third Person Press has had an open submission period going on for the month of February, and what they’re looking for is speculative fiction (also known as exactly the stuff I write). I knew about this several months ago because they posted about it in the local newspaper, so I got to work trying to get Book One of The Other World finished as quickly as possible. I did a ton of writing, there’s no doubt about that. I started in November with NaNoWriMo, and in the four months since I’ve completed the manuscript… But it’s only a first draft.
I could submit the story today – I could press forward with all that dedication and determination – but in this case it would be a bad idea. The story is unrefined. It hasn’t been beta-read. It has tons of typos, plot-holes, and assorted errors. I could submit the story today, but it would come back to me with a rejection letter politely suggesting that I go back and learn the basics of storytelling before I attempt to submit again.
The thing is, how can you expect a publisher to take you seriously if you submit a manuscript that is clearly incomplete? How can you expect them to take you seriously when it is obvious that you didn’t take the refinement of your own manuscript seriously?
So I’m putting the “project” on hold, for now. There will be other open submissions, and by then I’ll have a manuscript that I can be proud to submit.
That said, I’m still open to guest posts, if anyone is interested. It’s nice to change things up a bit and give myself some extra time to work on other stuff. ^_~