Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Back to the Basics

Yesterday, I was searching through my journals for an entry to submit to a place that wanted letters about waiting when I ran across my entry about when I first got a story accepted.

I was also reminded of that earlier joy and confusion about writing when a new attendee in my writers' group yesterday mentioned how confusing the submission process sounded to her and she didn't even know where to start.

I'd forgotten how easily we slip into false thinking that everyone knows what we're talking about. We throw out words like proposals, agents, WIP, submitting and forget how we had to forge through the simple act of writing a few lines to send in with our first submission. Or how to find where to submit!

A new writer sent me an e-mail recently telling me she'd sent some work to a place I suggested and it was accepted. I was thrilled for her but then read her submission letter and wanted to tell her that there is a better way to format her letter but didn't dare. We have very thin skin in the beginning and that I do remember.

We're all at different places with our writing. Sometimes the process is a jumble. I hope I never offend a new writer because of my enthusiasm for them to succeed. If I do--please tell me! But in the mean time, I hope I remember my own earlier needs and the ones ahead of me.


Joanne said...

Writing is its own science, isn't it? Instead of labs, experiments, bunsen burners, hypotheses, we have queries, agents, WIPs and synopses. Looks complicated from the outside, but really it all meshes together.

Janna Qualman said...

You're right, Terri, about the perspectives we find ourselves in relative to our experience and success. Thanks for putting it out there that we must remember to help each other along, most importantly by putting ourselves in others' shoes.