“Writing is a sweet, wonderful reward.”
“It is not necessary that you leave the house. Remain at your table and listen. Do not even listen, only wait. Do not even wait, be wholly still and alone. The world will present itself to you for its unmasking, it can do no other, in ecstasy it will writhe at your feet.”
Writing surely is a sweet, wonderful reward as Franz put it so well. And to be alone with one’s work, to be able to revel in its mystery and magic as it unfolds before you and through you is truly a magical gift. But the time comes for many of us when we need to move beyond the page and out into the world with the goal of bringing the words that we’ve written before other eyes and minds. And this can be challenging, very challenging.
I know, because I’ve just recently wrapped up a major revision of my YA novel. It’s taken me months to make all the changes I felt I needed to make and to polish my prose. My manuscript is more than 200 pages long and no page has been untouched. I’ve written and rewritten, and now — at least for the time being — I’m done. There’s nothing more I can think of right now that I can do to improve it. That doesn’t mean by any stretch of the imagination that it’s perfect and doesn’t need more improvement — it just means that at this point in time I’ve reached the limit of what I can come up with that will make it better. I really feel I’ve pushed it to another level and now, I’m going to need some feedback from the publishing world to push it still further.
So I’m stepping my story out. This isn’t easy, but I know it’s the next logical thing for me to do and I’ve committed myself to doing it. For me, this means going through another round of submissions to agents. And this means identifying potential advocates who might have an affinity with my story and convincing them via a query letter to take a look at it. All I can do now is have faith in the work that I’ve done. In an interview, Clint Eastwood once said of the movies he directed: “I believe in my work.” How simple, yet profound. Let’s believe in our work — and write on.