Tuesday, February 15, 2011

manuscripts are like children

I've concluded (nearly just this second) that working on a manuscript is much like parenting. You love the kid, you laugh a lot, you cry here and there, and you'll be dang glad when they are safely out there. I know I always like sending something off to an editor (articles at this point). It's unsure if they'll buy it, but it's so nice to get it out the door, or in the usual case, into the email. I recently got a very nice, personal rejection on a piece. The editor took a brief moment to tell me why the piece didn't quite fit them, although they liked it.

(For those of you who haven't been sending things to editors, the fact is, most editors don't bother to respond at all. So it's truly lovely when someone gives you a personal word.)

To stick with the parenting metaphor, it was sort of like sending your child to camp and getting them back after a week. You aren't done yet and you need to send them out again and again as they grow. And after a while, they only come back to say hello, with a smile (and, in the case of the manuscripts, with checks in hand).

My book is a perennial teenager--causing much angst, as well as fun. It's a lot of work and frustration, it is energizing and at times depressing. And I will be SO glad when it's finally out there, in print, where somebody can buy it.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Affirmed--I AM a writer

There's just nothing like a check to affirm that you're really a writer. I recently received payment for an article that was published a few months ago. You know you are a writer when you sit down and write, or when someone reads your stuff and "gets it," or when you see the pages mounting up, and you know you've worked hard on them and they actually are worth reading. (Granted, some people are deluded about this last detail.) But when someone actually pays you for it, it's bliss.

Being paid stirred me up so much that I went back through my files to see what else might be worth sending out. I took a couple to my critique group (faithful ladies, what would I do without you guys?), and was told one was perfect and the other needed a new ending.

Back to the Writers Market Guide--only to be reminded once more how few publications handle short humor. But I found one in Canada that was perfect for this article--at least I hope so, because I sent it off to them. Now we wait. Waiting is the worst part of being a writer.