One thing I picked up from the Festival of York is that perfectionism and determination are two essential qualities for a writer to have in order to become a published author.
Perfectionism is crucial, because unless you’ve got a great story which is well written, you’re not going to stand out amongst the thousands of other people submitting and pitching to agents and publishers.
And then, once you’ve spent the long hours crafting your story, honing the plot, making your characters unique and raising the dramatic tension through to a fulfilling reveal, you’ve got to have determination.
Because once you start sending out your work to agents the odds are you’ll get turned down. Not necessarily because your work isn’t good. Just because agents are looking for something that really speaks to them, as individuals. And it stands to reason that you’re unlikely to find the right person straight off.
So determination is vital to see you through sending off the submissions, coping with the rejection slips, and remaining positive about your work. Because so many published authors I’ve heard speak say it took them up to ten years or eight books before they got a deal.
So as I edit my second draft, I’m as critical of each chapter as I can – practicing my perfectionism. I’m up to chapter 36 of 40 now, and the revisions seem to come a little easier. Perhaps it’s because I can see the completed second draft is in my reach, or maybe it’s because I’ve become more used to the editing process. Either way, it has to be a good thing. Because polishing my story into a manuscript I’m proud of will be the best way to keep me determined once I start submitting it.
- Evolutionary Perfectionism, and Experimenting (confidentwriting.com)