Wednesday, July 7, 2021

The Insecure Writer and Waiting For Your Editor's Email

 


Today is July's contribution to Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group.

What makes me an insecure writer this month?

The fact that it’s almost time to send my manuscript to the editor.

Back in January, I finished adding the final touches to the manuscript I’ve been working on for well over five years. It had already been through two critique groups by then, so I felt it was time to send it off to an editor. Turns out my preferred editor is in demand, so she couldn’t pencil me in until July. At the time, I was disappointed at the delay, but after a beta-reader pointed out some problems with the story a few months ago, I was grateful for the extra time to fix things up.

But now it’s finally July, and the editor will be emailing me any day now, asking for my manuscript, and that makes me anxious. What will she think of the story? How many changes will she suggest? How much work will it take to fix them? I’m not so wedded to my words that changing things here and there will bother me overmuch, but what if she points out problems I’m not a good enough writer to fix?

Those of you who have worked with multiple editors on multiple projects may chuckle at this last concern, but to me it's a real possibility. I want this story to be as good as it can be, and I'm deathly afraid I'll be the biggest factor holding it back.


July's question: What would make you quit writing? 

Very little, as I’m having too much fun doing it. Only if it became too painful to write, either physically or because of severe emotional trauma, would I consider stopping. Oh, and I suppose going blind would probably do it too. I need to see the words on the page for me to write.   

By the way, be sure to stop by the other co-hosts for this month: Pat GarciaVictoria Marie Lees, and Louise – Fundy Blue.


Take care everyone, and stay safe! 

ChemistKen

43 comments:

  1. Hi,
    Congratulations on getting that manuscript finished. Don't forget no one is perfect. If you were good enough to write it, then you're good enough to do what needs to be done to fix it. Be gentle with yourself.
    Wishing you all the best and take care.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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  2. I feel your anxiety, Ken. Congratulations on finishing and having an editor. Everything is going to be okay. Thanks for co-hosting, eh!

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  3. Hi Ken,
    I identified with your comment, "...I'm deathly afraid I'll be the biggest factor holding it back."
    Looking back on my life, I was the biggest factor in my failure.
    You are a terrific writer and I'm positive you are fully prepared to deal with any challenge your editor may throw at you.
    Thank you for co-hosting IWSG this month.
    Lynn La Vita @ http://la-vita.us/write/

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  4. I share your nerves. Best of luck!

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  5. That's great that you're sending your manuscript to an editor before considering publishing it. Hope you get the feedback you need.

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  6. How exciting to have finished your manuscript. Prayers and positive thoughts for your future journey with it. Thanks for co-hosting this month's IWSG.

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  7. I'm betting you'll be very happy with the feedback!

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  8. Congratulations on the finished manuscript and for getting it into the hands of an editor! No matter what the response, you can be proud of yourself for taking this monumental step! AND you WILL be able to make whatever changes necessary to move this piece forward. It's YOUR story. You have all the words you need.

    Thanks for co-hosting!
    Jen

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  9. How exciting, Ken, even if the prospect of sending your manuscript in makes you anxious. Congratulations! And thanks for co-hosting this month!

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  10. I agree, but even blindness wouldn't stop me. Now that you can talk to computers and they'll write it down. LOL
    Keep Writing!

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  11. Congratulations on finishing the MS and good luck with the send-off! Thanks for co-hosting :)

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  12. Thanks for cohosting this month. Congratulations on finishing your wip. Big accomplishment. I know what you mean about seeing words. Blindness would make it very difficult. Eventually I think if you want to write you Lilly find a way.

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  13. You'll be able to fix any issues. Editors are good at suggesting alternatives and even if that doesn't work, you'll see a better path.
    Thanks for co-hosting today!

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  14. Hope your editor comes through with what you need. Thanks for co-hosting this Wednesday.

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  15. If your stories are like mine, the editor will find PLENTY wrong. The first time a pro looked at my work, I about cried. Everything wrong was highlighted in red and yellow. My poor little manuscript looked like it had spotted fever!! I've now come to realize it's the ability of the writer to accept critique that makes us better writers.

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  16. The crippling insecurities of waiting to hear back from your editor. I feel you. Thank you for co-hosting, and Happy IWSG Day! Great post.

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  17. Hi Ken!
    Best of luck with the story. Hope you get positive feedback from your editor.

    If you enjoy writing can you really quit? I don’t think so. You may have phases, where you don’t write much; but eventually you will find your way back to the blank page.
    And I'm talking about writing for the sheer pleasure of writing.
    Then there's writing to pay the bills - that's a different story.

    Thank you for co-hosting the IWSG blog hop this month.

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  18. Worrying that you're not good enough is the sign of a true writer, Ken! Those who haven't a clue are the one's who believe every one of their words are perfect and chiseled in stone. And, I know a blind writer who does just fine so that's something you could overcome. Insecurity is the hardest obstacle . . . and we're here to get you over that hurdle. Keep us posted!

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  19. It is a scary moment - sending you MS out to an editor and hoping for the best. I wish you the best of luck with your editor.

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  20. Good job on getting the MS finished.
    That is a terrifying prospect whenever a story is sent to an editor or beta reader. Sometimes I procrastinate getting to their notes because I have to mentally prepare myself for the critique.

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  21. I’m not chuckling. Not at all. I’ve worked with a couple of editors and have am an editor. I still worry when I send off my manuscript and when I get it back. It’s normal. Hang in there!

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  22. Congrats on getting the manuscript sent off and hope they love every word...if not, sigh, rewrite time. :) Being blind would be a big hurdle, but as mentioned there are new apps all the time for things. There were oral to print programs twenty years ago to help my son with writing...he was not blind but challenged with writing. :)

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  23. I'm excited for you, that you've made it to the editor. It is a stressful step and I hope it really helps your story.

    It's funny so many mention 'going blind' as why they'd quit writing. I just found I have an eye issue that will end there if I have bad luck. I've been watching lots of 'I'm blind' YouTube videos. Sigh.

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  24. I had many of the same worries the first time I worked with my editor. And yes, there were a lot of issues that my editor told me I needed to fix, and it was a lot of work. At the same time, though, there were a bunch of things that I thought might possibly problems with my story, and my editor told me to stop worrying about those things. It's a huge relief to have an editor come in, tell you exactly what does need fixing, and also what does not.

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  25. Wow! How exciting! I hope your editor likes it and makes good suggestions. Put your rhino skin on, as a mentor used to say, and be receptive to constructive criticism. It usually makes our stories better.

    Another blog listed you as a co-host. Thanks for co-hosting?

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  26. Very exciting! I don't have an editor, but I do get nervous getting beta feedback. It's sometimes hard to get those comments, and I can't say I'm excited when I realize I have more work to do, but it always makes the story better.

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  27. I think I would be nervous in your situation, too, but I'm sure it will go great! I had a short story published in an anthology and I was sure the editor was going to rip it to shreds but it wasn't even close to as painful as I thought it would be.

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  28. You are good enough to fix anything your editor throws at you. Even if you don't believe in yourself, I believe in you.

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  29. Congratulations on getting your manuscript that far! If your editor finds a major issue, have faith, you will figure it out!
    Thanks for co-hosting!

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  30. Congrats on getting your manuscript ready for the editor!
    You are definitely good enough, and determined enough, to fix anything the editor finds. You can do this!

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  31. You will manage, Ken. Your editor will guide you.

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  32. You've already dealt with feedback from critters and beta readers, so you're semi-prepared. It will still hurt, but somewhere in the back of your mind you'll see that each comment is meant to knock your work out of the park.

    The only thing your editor doesn't have is your vision of the final product, therefore, give each bit of advice a hard look. Don't follow it blindly. Some things you might not agree with. Discuss them. Stick to your guns if you want to say no.

    Good luck. :-)

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  33. I agree with your POV about writing, Ken - I'm having a blast, so why stop!?! Let the words flow through me... I can say what I want to say, uncensored - though I do apply edits and revisions as needed.

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  34. I agree with your POV about writing, Ken - I'm having a blast, so why stop!?! Let the words flow through me... I can say what I want to say, uncensored - though I do apply edits and revisions as needed.

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  35. I agree with your POV about writing, Ken - I'm having a blast, so why stop!?! Let the words flow through me... I can say what I want to say, uncensored - though I do apply edits and revisions as needed.

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  36. Sometimes I get so nose-to-the-grindstone with a project that I must remind myself this is supposed to be fun! With your positive attitude, I'm sure you'll go far. Don't worry about the editor; it's her job to help you polish your book baby until it gleams. Here's to a fruitful partnership! Thanks for cohosting.

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  37. Hi Ken! Thanks for co-hosting this month. Wow! Bravo to be ready to send your manuscript to the editor. More power to you!

    I understand your concern, though. "What if the editor points out problems I’m not a good enough writer to fix?" Man! I just wish I had an editor waiting for my college memoir. You can do this, sir. Have faith! All best to you!

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  38. If you go blind, you can always use a voice-to-text program. Or some might do it via touch typing.
    I think such concerns as not being good enough to fix problems is a part of impostor syndrome. As writers we do ourselves down all the time. A mindset that we're more than good enough will go a long way, but I know it's not easy. You've been working on this book for five years, so hopefully this is the final hurdle, and you haven't heard what the editor has to say yet. Good luck!

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  39. What courage to turn your work over to an editor. I relentlessly edit my own work and have not yet tried an outside editor. How do you find someone to trust, with skills to truly 'see' your intentions? May the end of the summer bring you helpful suggestions that affirm your story and your writing.

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  40. Best of luck with your editing process! All of the editors I've worked with have been incredibly kind, delivering nearly painless cuts and some compliments along with their critiques. I've also always found that the edits make my stories stronger, rather than taking away anything. I hope you find your editing to be the same! Trust yourself to know how to polish your story, you've got this.

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  41. Congratulations on the next stage of your manuscript, very exciting. Like you, I had feedback from beta readers on my latest WIP and from the comments, it needs further revisions before my editor sees it!
    Good luck with your story.

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  42. Wow! I can't believe you had/have to wait so long to have your work edited. Luckily, you used that extra time wisely. :-) I thought having to wait two months during two rounds of edits was a lot. Once I was ready, I was ready, and getting the final product couldn't happen fast enough after a five-year ordeal...

    I'm sure you and your editor will come up with the finest book possible. No doubts about that. Happy revising and thank you for co-hosting this month, Ken!!

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