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Now, over two years later, I thought it’d be a good time to add some more truths that I’ve picked up over the past two years. So without further ado, here are five more writing truths:
- No matter how many times you edit, you will still find typos. Now, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t bother editing, it just means if you send out a query and realize you wrote “ths” instead of “this” on page three of your sample even though you looked at it a hundred times and you were sure there weren’t any typos, you don’t need to panic. Typos happen, and as long as your work isn’t riddled with them, they’re not a death sentence.
- Your query letter should be just as polished as your manuscript. I wrote a whole post explaining why this is important, but the short version is this: if you spend months perfecting your manuscript and only five minutes on your query, chances are publishing professionals aren’t going to get past your slap-dash query to see the hard work of your writing. Your query is your first impression—spend extra time on it to make sure it’s a good one.
- You shouldn’t write to a trend, but you don’t want to ignore them, either. The problem with writing to a trend is the trends you see in stores now were in editors hands something like two years ago. So even if you dash off an amazing manuscript quickly, editors are going to be tired of seeing whatever trend is on the shelves today—they’re looking for something different to put out in the next couple years.
That being said, it’s important to be aware of what’s selling and what trends are overcrowded. As a writer, your field is publishing, and it’s important to know what’s going on in your field.
- Some days everyone’s good news will make you feel terrible. Chances are the day will come when you’ve received yet another rejection and you’re feeling pretty discouraged, then someone posts about how they just got an agent or book deal and you want to be happy for them, but instead you just feel like a failure. And you know what? Those days are normal, and you aren’t a terrible person for feeling disappointed.
The good news is those days don’t last forever, because other days will come around when someone shares their good news and you’ll be in the right frame of mind to genuinely celebrate with them. And that’s pretty great.
- Writing is hard, but waiting is harder. This is why my frequent advice to those in the query trenches is to write something else. Few things are more maddening than sitting around waiting for a response to that query, or that submission, with absolutely nothing else to distract you. Distractions are good. Distractions are wonderful, in fact, and the best kind are the ones that will leave you with a shiny new manuscript at the end of it.
So those are my writing truths—now I want to hear from you. What writing truths would you add to the list?
Writer @Ava_Jae shares five truths all writers must face. What would you add to the list? (Click to tweet)
Have you faced these five writing truths? Join the discussion at @Ava_Jae's blog. (Click to tweet)