A little something different today. No five-point list, no links, no tips…just me and you, gettin’ philosophical.
So you’ve got a manuscript. You took the little kernel of an idea, fleshed it out over weeks, months and years. Ripped it up and started over. Sent it through critiques and contests and beta readers. Polished that baby until it shined like the sun.
And put it in a drawer.
Sweetheart, you gotta buy a lottery ticket.
If you wanna write only for your own gratification, that’s fine. Fill drawers and file cabinets and storage lockers to the brim. Good on ‘ya.
But if you want to be a published author, then you have to take a chance. Throw your baby to the snakes. Seems like sure death–but one of these days, your infant manuscript might turn out to be Hercules.
It’s true that first manuscripts are usually, er, lacking. But still. Try. Because if you prepare your first attempt at a manuscript to the best of your ability, query, then fail to find an agent/editor, it’s not lost effort. The road to publication is a learning process. Your next manuscript will be tighter, your next query letter will be more succinct, you’ll find some agent/editors to query again and others to avoid.
Most of all, you’ll thicken your skin. Writers need the skin of rhinoceroses for critiques, agents, editors, reviews, readers, jealous friends and family.