Fail, fail, fail, fail, succeed

Lost On The Wilder Shores Final

5433

Today, I completed reading (what I thought was the final edit) of “Lost On The Wilder Shores” out loud and, of course, made many more changes before saving the manuscript in a folder labeled “Final for Query Submissions.” So, I guess my February 23rd post was a month premature. Oh well. Writing is a stepwise endeavor, and this is my first novel. I knew this was the final step, but was surprised at how many (admittedly minor) changes I made. Duly noted.

Important note 1: The final manuscript isn’t really done until you’ve read the entire goddamn thing out loud. It’s shocking how many changes you’ll make to something that’s already been exhaustively edited. Mind you—I already went through this process with revisions one through four, but they’re not this revision.

Important note 2: After two years and ten months, I still love this book and know that it has an audience. The size of that audience, however, remains unknown. First, people have to know it exists.

Important note 3: My loose plan is to query agents for a year (or get 100 rejections—whichever comes first), then self-publish if no one picks it up. This is going to be hard, but I’ve got a few years of submitting short stories to literary journals under my belt. Although I have published nine, I can safely say that rejection is the norm. It’s just part of the game—the sooner you can accept this, the less painful it becomes.

Important note 4: REJECTION DOESN’T MEAN WHAT YOU’VE WRITTEN ISN’T GOOD. At the same time, it goes without saying that you should constantly be working to improve, but please don’t assume your work sucks just ’cause it keeps getting rejected. It would appear that there are more good writers than there are readers.

But enough blathering, please join me (imagine large crowd chanting) in the cheer of the day:

Hurrah, Hurray! It’s a red-letter day! Today I finished my first novel!