My apologies up front, but this blog is going to be taking a detour down Writers Road for quite some time. As I’ve mentioned, I’m working on a book proposal. Let’s face it, nothing is ever done if you’re a perfectionist. So, I’ll be constantly refining my proposal up until I die. In fact, I started my book proposal almost three years ago. So, what? A girl has got to be prepared. I feel like I eat, drink, sleep book proposal writing, but last night I called it a day and closed up shop. Then I hit “send” and it’s off to Editing Land. As insecure as I am, some parts of it sparkle and shine. There are moments of near-brilliance. I’m proud of the work I’ve done.
The biggest thing I’ve learned (the hard way) in this process is to trust my voice and my intuition. I have major anxiety so I scrutinize each sentence and each word sometimes to the point of over-editing a piece. I obsess over the word choices I’ve made. I have panic attacks about my style. I’m not neurotic. I’m
thoughtful definitely neurotic. It’s counterproductive, really. Eventually, I have to learn to trust my voice and let go. At this point in the querying process, it’s either a yes or a no. I do have faith in my book that someone will say yes, I just don’t know how difficult it will be to find the person who does. But, every writer has to come to this point when we’re breaking in to publishing. We’ve studied, we’ve read three hundred plus books, we have ink stains and highlighter marks on thousands of pages, and our hair is falling out from the stress of pushing out five drafts in under three years. Oh, that last part is just me. Fine. After we’ve done what we came to do, the writing, we must let it go and submit it. That’s the next stage of growth. Does it need work? Is it being ignored? What are agents saying about it?
Are you a writer? Have you gone through this? Do you aspire to write a proposal one day? Questions and comments are welcome.
What I’m Reading
I’m still reading Joseph Anton by Salman Rushdie and The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. When I read books like these, I typically read like a writer which means I study them. I may not finish them for quite some time.
Resources for Writers
Association of Writers & Writing Programs: https://www.awpwriter.org/
Poets & Writers: http://www.pw.org/