I submitted my manuscript Mutual Weirdness to the Ampersand Project two days ago.
The project is for unpublished YA writers (like me) from Australia, and is part of Hardie Grant Egmont. Basically I’m terrified.
But I also think it’s tremendously important to submit your work – otherwise, what’s the point? Before I talk about the importance of putting yourself out there, though, here’s a bit more about Mutual Weirdness:
Genre: YA contemporary
(and actually, the first draft was 75k so my rewrites have been good at shaving off unnecessary words)
Two sentence pitch:
When James tells Jess to stop being weird, the last thing she needs is Mike, who collects dandelions and is on a quest to find a word rhyming with orange. MUTUAL WEIRDNESS is a contemporary YA featuring an orange minivan, 673 doll shoes, and a girl trying to figure out the balance between herself and what others want her to be.
I’ve been working on this since November 2012 (NaNoWriMo) and thinking about it since well before then. But I’m never going to be completely happy about it. I don’t know why. I’m never completely confident about my work.
But that doesn’t stop me from showing it to people.
It’s hard for me to balance my subjective and objective views of my novels. Objectively, it may need work, but subjectively I may think it’s worse (or better) than it actually is. My advice is to chuck your writing over to a critique partner or three – they can view it more objectively than you can and will offer great advice if you have awesome CPs like me.
Submit your writing wherever you can! Short stories can often help to build up resumes. Once you and your CPs are happy with your MS, submit it to literary agents or publishers or whatever you like, really.
But if you hide your writing in a drawer forever, it’s never going to get published.
This applies to other things as well. I don’t buy into the fact that being modest means putting yourself down. Be proud of your talents! For example, I am very proud of the fact that I bought new school shoes at the start of this year and still haven’t done up the laces.
Disclaimer: if you just want to write for fun and don’t want to get published, I hereby give you permission to hide it in a drawer forever.
Or, you know, in a pineapple.
Is it hard for you to show your work to others? Do you, like me, tread the line between loving and hating your writing? Let me know in the comments!