Tuesday, July 13, 2010

No Substitute for Time

Roni at Fiction Groupie had a kind of retrospective look back at a year of blogging yesterday. I had mine in May whereupon I was granted an exclusive interview with my blog. In Roni's post she asked what we've learned in a year of blogging.

What I've learned is that there is no substitute for time.

We're all looking for a quick fix, a magic bullet, a golden goal. We think that if we send agents weird cups with granola bars, we can bypass the slush. We think that if we just say that our mom is more excited about our novel than anything she's ever been excited about before, including our own births, then the agent can't help but be excited, too. We think that because we blog or twitter or breathe or passed third grade, our novels will not only sell but be overnight sensations with people falling over themselves to hand us cash. We think that the second we set pen to paper, or words in Word, we will have an overnight success, if only someone will see our genius. We think that because we write, we don't have to go through the time, the betas, the revision. We think one round of revision is sufficient.

We're wrong.

I use the collective "we" here, obvs. You and I know these things. But I still see and hear people rushing into things. The Slushpile Hell blog has made this abundantly clear.

Take your time to learn. Take your time to get into a critique group. Take a year. Take a year, or a few, to write more books. There's no magic ride here. We all have to learn the hard way, and we do that by practice.


Lt. Cccyxx said...

You are so right. When I started querying in October, I told myself I was in for the long haul. But it has taken until recently - 50+ queries, a writers conference, the Amazon contest, all this blogging, two more beta readers, a full and a partial request, and 20,000 words into a new WIP later - for me to realize just what it means. On the plus side, it's kind of empowering. Instead of just firing off queries and hoping for the best (and wondering why nothing is happening), I can be much more strategic.

Roni @ FictionGroupie said...

Thanks for the mention. :) And amen from the hallelujah choir. That's one of the best lessons to learn in all this. Too bad patience is one of my least favorite virtues.

Anne R. Allen said...

Yup. No way around doing our time in unpublished limbo, which is sooooo much longer than anybody thinks it should be (especially our friends and relations.) I've got a discussion going about this on my blog too. We all query too soon. Maybe we need to--as part of the learning process.

Tahereh said...

soooooooo true.

*big sigh*

KLM said...

I used to wonder what authors were talking about when they said they'd "really worked hard" to get their work read and then through the publishing process. Like, what does that mean exactly? How is that "working hard" ?

Ha. Now I know.

Sierra Godfrey said...

I think the worst thing is that it takes some painful time to get to this all-important realization, huh! Thanks for the comments guys.

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