. . . do you push the baby out of the nest? No, I’m not talking about an actual baby. Please, I’m not heartless. The baby I am talking about is . . . the writing project you’ve been endlessly editing for years and years and years (OMG, where did that grey hair come from??).
Why is Scott writing this post, you're thinking? Okay, maybe you're not thinking that, but this is my blog and I'm allowed some poetic license. Go here and you’ll see the inspiration for my post. Davin’s wonderful post, and all the great comments, started the thought process for this post.
How many edit processes do you go through before you’re ready to query? One, two . . . twelve? Do you ever feel you are ready to query?
At what cost, brilliance? Does the brilliance of your writing suffer if you (sorry English teachers everywhere) query after the fifth draft? The sixth? The twelth? Does your frustration increase if you never, ever, not in a trillion years think your writing is good enough? Where/when does the madness end?
I look at my work as the building of the human body. The rough draft is the skeleton, and each subsequent draft is the muscles, organs, skin, etc., until the finished product is before me. Now, this may seem an odd way to look at my writing, but it is what works for me. Writing is a process. Editing is part of that process. Rough Draft to Fifth Draft is a process. I do a complete read through every time with a colored pen in hand to scritch-scratch away as I read. I add/delete here, there and every where. I’m never truly satisfied with the final product.
Yes, you read that correctly: I’m never truly satisfied with the final product.
Still, that’s just me. I want everything perfect. I just understand that, based on my criteria, perfection does not exist. If I hold onto my ideal of perfection, then the baby will never be pushed out of the nest. It will sit on my desk, endlessly, collecting dust until the next edit phase, and never journey out into Queryland. I want my baby to journey out into Queryland. I want to push it out of the nest and, like every parent out there, hope it flies as far as it can fly with as few bumps along the way as possible.
Is it wrong to want such a thing for my baby? Is it wrong to want to share the brilliance of my writing with a truly unsuspecting world? Of course not! It is the dream of every writer.
So, the point to my rambling, boils down to a simple question: at what point are you ready to push your baby out of the nest?
Now, before you answer that question, please go here, read Davin’s post and all the comments, and truly think about your response. Do you have not so good sentences and paragraphs in your beloved manuscript? Are you truly comfortable and confident with what you have written?
Here, dear readers, is the . . . well, can’t think of the proper word, hate it when that happens . . . Basically, if you are comfortable and confident with what you have written, then send it out to Queryland. Take a chance, take a chance, take a chance (dang, shouldn’t have watched Mamma Mia for the gazillionth time) . . . on your writing.
What all this doesn’t mean, is never stop aspiring for perfection as Scott (not me, the Scott from Literary Lab) so aptly put it in his comment to this post. Keep honing your writing, polishing it to a brilliant shine with every word you write and edit. Just don’t let your polishing become so obsessive that your baby never leaves the nest. I’m just saying . . .