Not Ready ≠ Insecure

15 Oct

So, I was going through and adding tags to my old posts, because I’m bored and don’t feel like studying. And I stumbled across my Goals vs. Excuses post from last December. In it, I listed my very ambitious goals for this year. As I read through them, I was kind of surprised because I actually didn’t do too bad. However, I did have one goal that I realized I’m not ready to complete yet. Even though I’m so anxious to be ready, I’m not.

That goal was to start querying. At first I made up a bunch of excuses not to do it. “Just one more draft.” “I need to change this one thing.” “The MC doesn’t feel right yet.” We’ve all done it. But then the truth hit me.

I’m the one that’s not ready. Me, myself, and my writing. My writing isn’t strong enough for submission and, while I think I could handle the rejection, I’m not going to submit something less than stellar. Seriously, read my two short stories and I bet you can tell which one I wrote first.

My writing is still growing, and I know it always will be, but I don’t feel as though it’s at a publishable level yet. As much as I want to be ready, I’m not. I still have a lot of learning to do. When I started writing a little less than two years ago, I didn’t know the first thing about the craft. I’ve come a loooong way since then, but it’s not far enough.

I’ll get there someday. I’m not worried about that. But it’ll be when I’m good ‘n ready.

Progress on my other goals

Write first drafts of:

  • Saltwater & Cherry Blossoms (Haven’t even started and probably won’t before the year is out.)
  • Oranges & Lilacs (I wrote the first half and loved it, but stalled when it came to a clear stopping point. Allegedly to “figure out where it was going.” We’ve all heard that before.)
  • Naomichi (Completely changed the story.)

And second drafts of:

  • Love & Marigolds (I wrote more drafts of this one than I care to count. I think I worked on L&M for 6 months solid at the expense of the others.)
  • Sunshine & Oak Trees (Did it. Not pretty, but accomplished.)
  • Sisters of Cloth (I didn’t write the second draft, but I did manage to write the ending that got neglected after Nano last year. I count that as a win.)

So, I consider this a 50% success rate. Technically, I still have two months left of 2010. But I’ll be honest with myself. I’m probably not going to work on any of these stories. I’m going to do Nano in November, and after that, I’ll be catching up with the life that passed me by for 30 days.


Posted by on 2010/10/15 in Writing


2 responses to “Not Ready ≠ Insecure

  1. rachelhamm

    2010/10/15 at 21:47

    I’m with you on not being ready to query. I sent out one round a long time ago, and I haven’t been able to work up the nerve to send anymore. I am so worried I’m going to send a terrible query to the right agent and miss out on my chance with that person forever. I don’t want to query until I feel absolutely 100% sure about my book and know that it is publishable.

    • Candice Beever

      2010/10/15 at 22:19

      Yeah, it’s hard when you believe in the story, but know it’s just not ready (or in my case, I’m not). You don’t want to ruin chances by sending something out too early.


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