Writing Wednesday: Who’s Book Is It, Anyway?

Writing WednesdayIt’s been one month since I turned in my Blurb to Book entry. With less than three weeks to go before the wrap up post and two authors already acquired, my comrades in arms are getting a little nervous. We are speculating on whose manuscript the editors are reading, which editor is reading it, how they are determining the order in which they read, and how they decide who gets the call. You know, all the things that makes a writer with a submission out go crazy.

As I said, two authors so far have been put out of this misery and into the stratosphere of happiness by receiving the call. Both are previously published. This has been a major area of discussion. Is that a coincidence? Is it just their previous experience has strengthened their writing to make them stand out or is it something else? It’s enough to drive a person crazy, the things unpublished authors find to focus on. Is it because they are agented? What is the magic potion?!

Everyone wants to know who will be next to sell. We are second and third guessing our manuscripts and choices, reading into every tweet, and vacillating between diving into the next book and feeling it might be better to hold off for feedback on this one, to make sure we are doing it right. We don’t quite know how to address the mix of accomplishment, nervousness, and loss of control that we’ve been battling for the past month.

Here’s what stuck out to me in that whole thing: there are some of us hesitating or procrastinating on the next book because we want to know how this one was received. I ask, in all seriousness and with the utmost of gentle love and kick-in-the-pants moxie: What is your problem? Why on earth are you waiting for validation on the previous thing to get deep into the next one?

Look, I get it: you want to know if you are on the right track, going in the direction the editors for a certain line/publisher want. But here’s the thing, though: until it’s contracted, it’s YOUR book. Who cares who will love it or want to buy it? No one’s going to buy the book you don’t write! You have to write the story you feel like is begging to be written. Once you have a draft, you can revise with a certain publisher or line in mind. But don’t keep interrupting your creative process waiting to see if you got the last thing right! This is your book, isn’t it? Well, write like it!

*she says to herself as much as to anyone else*

That’s my two cents, anyway. Where do you fall on the spectrum of writing while you wait? How much do you take a line/publisher/genre’s conventions into consideration while writing? Should you? Who else is waiting to hear on a submission and wants to encourage/commiserate with me?

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4 thoughts on “Writing Wednesday: Who’s Book Is It, Anyway?

  1. Yes. I needed this πŸ˜‰
    Are you in contact with many of the other B2B-ers then? I was wondering about the fact that the two that had sold were previous writers/agented, but thought I was being crazy to think like that. Good to know I am not alone! πŸ˜‰
    I’ve decided on a compromise: I’m going to take a break from the historical world I was writing in for my B2B entry, I’m working on some suspense stuff. It’s different enough to feel fresh and fun, but is easing me back into writing. And I’m trying *trying* not to think about what might come of my sub…
    Good luck with your writing – and with your submission. Can’t wait to see who sells next. It’s exciting at least!

    • I am in touch with three others regularly. There’s been a lot of anxiety and watching for trends, but it’s mostly authors seeking encouragement from each other.

      I worked a bit on my next non-fiction book and have just been thinking through GMC and some plot points for my next inspirational contemporary book. Sometimes you need a little break. πŸ˜‰

      I agree. It is exciting to follow along with all the news. You don’t even have to have submitted to have fun watching the results and rooting for your favorites. It’s more fun to try and guess who will get the call next when you aren’t the one waiting, that’s for sure!

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