I’m always so excited by the story I’m writing that I want to share it with everyone. Often this leads to me jumping the gun on the submissions process too. Earlier this summer I finished a story that began as a picture book, until one day, about 6 years after it was written originally, a good writing and critiquing friend of mine told me the story sounded more like a big outline for a middle grade novel. Well, DUH! After laboring over it for so long, it was only obvious that there was so much more I wanted to share about the characters and their world.
The story flowed out of me, taking me less than six months to write. It was almost a little nerve wracking that it came out so well the first time, especially after rewriting To Find A Wonder no less then 4 or 5 times. But it’s true what seasoned writers tell us newbies–“Let it sit.”
What they mean by this is, don’t get so excited that you jump the gun on submissions. Let your manuscript sit and digest. Give it to a non-writing, but loves to read friend who is willing to read the whole thing. See how the non-writing audience reacts to it. And while you are letting it sit, work on a new project, get excited about another story. When you come back you will see the improvements you can make, and you’ll be able to hack away at it with less emotion connected to your words.
Don’t think of this time as wasted, as “I could be querying every agent or editor I’ve ever met” time. Think of this time as dreaming time and watch your manuscript blossom.