Are you an MS abuser?

IMG_20130725_085822

We never really know when discouragement is going to come or what will bring it on. I’ve received plenty of rejections and most days I can just twitch my shoulders and chalk it up to subjectivity. But other days a rejection can feel like someone just tossed me a bag of concrete I wasn’t ready for.  I’ve been catching concrete this week.

Why all of the sudden, you ask, are rejections so hard to take? I entered a contest recently and got some wonderful feedback on my latest MS. Good criticism equals lots of work and sometimes it’s hard to pull up your sleeves and dive back into a manuscript you thought was finished…but then again, what am I if I don’t? I’ve been so tempted just to move on and start another novel with hopes this one will be the one that won’t draw a single rejection, though I only started sending out queries for this MS in May and have had more request for it than any other I’ve written. But what is my writing if I don’t make it better when I know it can be?

144190129

Walking away from a manuscript when you’re weary is like neglecting a child when she’s being more trying than usual.

When we feel like abandoning our latest novel in a bassinet on the front steps of the closest orphanage for unloved manuscripts we need to find a way to get excited about approaching our work from a different angle. View it as a new project all together and if you are lucky enough to have some good criticism to get you started then break it down piece by piece and get the most out of it. This is an opportunity to make your story whatever you want it to be all over again without having to spend months drumming up another 80K words. The bulk of your story is there; just squish it between your fingers and mold it into the new, shiny, better MS I know you can write.

Here are some ways you can renew your excitement for writing.

kid-reading-book

1. Read! Pick up a new book. Get excited about it and think about how you can bring some of that excitement to your own writing.

r988222_10883318

2. Change things up. Sometimes trying the same query with the same manuscript that keeps pulling in rejections over and over is a bit like beating your head against the wall. Rework your query from a different angle. Or maybe work on the story itself. Write a few new exciting scenes for your novel or rework old ones. Run them by your editor and see if they might improve the story. Think of your main character from a different perspective. Maybe even change their name. 

success_stories

3. Read success stories of authors who’ve been rejected tens of hundreds of times like this one for encouragement. See what they did and didn’t do to get their work out there.

What do you think? If you have fears that maybe there’s just not a market for your novel or you think you’ve got an idea for a better story do you move on or do you make perfection out of it before you walk away and if no one picks it up, at least you knew it was your best work?

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Are you an MS abuser?

  1. You look wonderful. I am sure you will find a way…I like what I do here already….it is funny, but I do not want to write a novel – when I was 20 I did. Goodness, I am glad I never went past short and intense stories. They are gone now, and I regret that….but not too much.

    Anyway, I did not come here to talk about me, but to say that I love the spirit of your blog, how it reaches out to others. I think that is the essential thing. We are only on the earth for a while, a short while really, and we should make contact in ways, even small ways (which I now value so much more than I used to) with those around. For all those reasons, I love what you do here…x

  2. If I’ve received feedback with rejections, that means I’m on the right track at least, since I’ve received generic rejections before. So I change the story accordingly, then wait to send it out again after my beta readers have read it. But I’ve dropped novels before that didn’t seem to go anywhere.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s