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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Words of Wisdom Wednesday: On Writing and Being Brave

I loved this post by literary agent Nathan Bransford on writing. He poses questions I've asked a million times--why do the talented doubt themselves, and why do some people seem to think anyone can write a book?

I have my own theories on both of those questions. But you know, from this side of the slush pile it's easy to get really down on the people sending in submissions every day, without reading the guidelines or having a clear idea of what makes a good picture book (or chapter book or YA novel or whatever). It's easy to get frustrated and wish that only great submissions crossed my desk.

But I'm a writer too, and I know how hard it is. I know how scary it is. I know what it's like to let your precious word-baby into the world and how frightening it is to think someone might not like it. Most of you are braver than I am. And you know what? Every single submission that comes my way--someone out there DOES think it's great. It might not be me. Or it might be. But no matter if you're talented or talentless, everyone has those thoughts, worrying that you're not doing it right. So here are my words of wisdom for today, especially for all the writers among you...

Keep writing. And keep submitting. Thanks for doing what you do. I couldn't do what I do without you.


Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Thanks, Beth! You gave me a vote of confidence when you said that you would keep me on file even though my ms wasn't what you were looking for. :) It's the little comments and the personal notes that give me hope that I am in the handful that Nathan was talking about.

Shauna said...

Thanks for sharing this Beth,
I am constantly questioning my ability, hoping I'm not just adding slush for editors to go through. I haven't had a "yes" yet, but I'll keep writing and keep trying. It's nice knowing that editors do understand the anxiety writers go through.