Over Thanksgiving, I was explaining the crazy, long revision/submission/revision/submission/revision/publication process to some of my relatives. They were shocked! Did agents really ask you to make changes to your masterpiece? And then editors want to make more changes? Is it still yours, then? How can someone tell you what to change? Do famous people have to do all that?
Um, yeah. The famous people do that. And that’s how they got famous. By taking good advice. Chopping, hacking, polishing, re-thinking, re-imagining. Being determined. Being willing to make their “masterpiece” even better, and never settling for just okay.
I just finished reading TWISTED by Laurie Halse Anderson. If you know anything about YA literature, you know Laurie is royalty! But even for royalty, it’s a roller coaster ride. It’s teamwork. Listen to the first part of her acknowledgements at the end of TWISTED:
Writing a novel sometimes feels like riding a roller coaster.
No, that’s a lie.
Writing a novel always feels like riding a roller coaster, the kind that makes you hyperventilate, say your prayers, and regret the cheese dog you ate half an hour ago. Once they lock you in your seat, you’re sure you will plunge to a fiery, painful death. When it’s over, you sprint to get back in line, because it was the coolest thing you ever. did.
The following brave souls took turns strapping themselves in next to me for this ride.
I owe them all big-time…..
Let Laurie’s lovely quote inspire you to get good advice, be willing to re-think, become a stronger editor, and commit yourself to the process. It’s a crazy ride, but we’re strapped in together!