Sunday, February 3, 2013


I received my weekly newsletter today from Funds for Writers written and compiled by C.Hope Clark and this piece captured my attention and I thought off sharing it today.

This is so profound for me as an author. A lesson learned.

To learn more and subscribe to her news letter you can follow the link.


I get these whims to cook up something remarkably different.
Like a pot roast that adds cola, or a Christmas cookie with
real lavender flowers in the icing. I even tried spaghetti
cooked in a Bundt pan, with the sauce afterwards filling the
hole and drizzled all over the top. It looked weird and tasted
okay, but the jokes about it continued from my sister for years.
Truth is, I'm a darn good cook now. My sister hasn't tasted much
of my cooking in a decade or two, but my family and neighbors
have come to appreciate what my kitchen produces, especially
since much of it comes fresh from a garden, the chicken coop,
and years of trial and error.
One thing I have learned, however, is that I don't want to try
out a new recipe for a special event (or test it on my sister).
I could be remembered for the potential fiasco instead of my
The same goes for releasing your writing to the cold, cruel
world. In our excitement to become published and start that
clip portfolio of our accomplishments, we forget what can
happen if the release crashes and burns. I baked that spaghetti
dish probably thirty years ago, but my sister reminded me of
it just last week. I also self-published a plain, basic little
book in 2001 that I wish I never had. In spite of my attempts
to forget those mistakes, they continue to pop up from time
to time.
All too often we are remembered for our mistakes instead of our
accomplishments. It's a nasty reality, but oh so true.
A friend in one of my writing groups just sent her last chapter
through the group for critique. It took her months to submit, receive
feedback, and edit. I watched her work just blossom over that time
period as she found her footing and her voice. After the last chapter,
I asked her if she was ready to send it through the group again.
The disappointment rang clear even through the email. She'd hoped
to let a couple of beta readers go through the book then start
contacting agents. I suggested she think twice about that choice.
In sending the book back through for critique again, not only
would the other writers look at it with a harsher eye in seeking
more advanced ways to improve the work, but she would in the
process grow phenomenally in her talent. Instead of analyzing
basic storytelling, she and others could now study more intricacies
of dialogue, voice, flow and syntax.
She was anxious to get published, and my response was this:
Don't be anxious to be rejected.
She told me that sentence stopped her in her tracks. In querying
too soon, she was indeed rushing into rejection. She was running
into making a bad first impression on people she greatly needed
to impress. She was trying a new recipe in front of very important
people, hoping they would like it . . . instead of practicing and
rewriting long enough to know the recipe is a good one.


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