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It’s normal for writers to become discouraged at some point in their journey to getting published. For some it starts well before their manuscript is complete. For others the challenges don’t truly start until they start shopping their proposal and manuscript to agents or publishers and getting feedback that’s hard to interpret, difficult to hear, or conflicting.
Three of the most common hurdles writers face include saboteurs (the inner critic), lack of time (time bandits), and being strategically underprepared (not knowing what you don’t know).
The Inner Critic
Do you grapple with the voice in your head that says, Why bother with this? Who’s going to want to read it? Or maybe your critic shows up in the form of telling you that you’re doing everything right and anyone who tells you otherwise is totally wrong. Another common critical voice is the one that says, You should be spending time with your partner or kids. You’re not making any money at this so it shouldn’t be such a priority. Do any of these ring true? Say hello to your inner critic. Welcoming him, her, or it with open arms is the first step toward developing a lasting relationship that will serve you well. You need to get to know your critic and understand what it really wants from you. Most people are surprised when they find out that the inner critic is only trying to help them in the best way it knows how.
Do you have to unload the dishwasher and do a load of laundry before you let yourself sit down to your computer to write? Do you lie half-awake with dread after you’ve hit your snooze button for the second time, willing yourself to get out of bed for your morning writing session? Are you conflicted about what’s more important—spending an hour exercising or an hour writing? Maybe you own a business and everything comes before your writing. Undoubtedly the biggest time bandits are our families. We wouldn’t have it any other way, but when you’re finding it difficult to carve out even an hour of time because you feel guilty about the time you’re not spending with your family, that’s a clear indicator that time bandits are controlling your life. There are solutions to this problem. It’s called making and keeping dates with yourself.
You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know
You get feedback from one agent that your writing is amazing, but you don’t have enough of a platform. Another agent says, wow, impressive bio, but they don’t think they can sell your work. An editor friend of yours raves about your work and tells you, don’t you dare stop trying. You’ve put your heart and soul into this manuscript and you’ve done so many drafts of your proposal you feel like you might throw up if you look at it one more time. Where do you go from here? Not knowing what you don’t know is frustrating in any circumstance, but in the publishing industry it’s particularly nebulous. Information gathering is the solution. Being open to feedback and actually hearing it and implementing it is the only way through.
If any of these issues feel like things you’ve grappled with on the road to getting published, I have an offer you won’t want to miss.
Register for my She Writes class, THE EDITOR IS IN, this week and get a FREE proposal evaluation AND a 45-minute consultation with me.
For $225 you get the course, which includes:
- 4 information-packed calls that will inspire you and help you navigate the road to getting published.
- 4 hour-long Q&A calls that will give you an opportunity to get any question you’ve ever wanted answered answered.
- PLUS, you have the opportunity, if you’re so compelled, to be the client in Calls #3 and #4. In the first calls, Deborah Siegal, cofounder of She Writes and author of several books, is going to share some of her own concerns, fears, and hurdles she’s facing right now as she writes a new book. In Calls #3 and #4, we’re looking for volunteers. This is an opportunity to get coached, again, for FREE. So if you know your inner critic well, or struggle with time bandits, or have had a WTF? moment in shopping your proposal/manuscript, then volunteer yourself!
Enroll this week and cash in on:
FREE proposal evaluation ($100 value)
FREE 45-minute consultation ($100 value)
All you do to cash in on this offer is email me once you’ve enrolled in the class and we’ll get a date on the calendar.
This offer is good this week, Monday through Friday, October 10-14. I’m making this offer widely available, so please feel free to send it along to anyone you know who’s about to shop a project to an agent or editor, or who’s already started the process and needs a little pick-me-up.
Meanwhile, for those of you for whom the class doesn’t sound like a good fit, take a look at the hurdles you’re confronting and start taking stock of what might be true for you.
Until next month,