Saturday, February 10, 2007

Taking an Honest Look - Will I Ever Get This Writing Thing Right?

My writing journey will continue at a new level in the coming days. Yesterday I received four cassette tapes from Donna Fleisher of I'll Read It Editorial Services along with a note that I should go through my Murder for Breakfast manuscript one more time. She also emailed back my manuscript with her notes to accompany the tapes.

Hiring Donna to read my manuscript was money well spent, but still, I'm kind of scared to listen. The good old familiar doubts creep into my mind such as: this is a lousy manuscript; I'm no good at this and she's going to tell me that; what was I thinking, wanting to write something good enough to be published?; I should give up and go paint my kitchen cabinets. I know from talking to other writers that these kind of doubts are a common malady, even amoung the multi-published authors (a fact that always amazes me).

The past couple weeks American Idol has been showing clips of auditions for this year's season. I missed the first week or so, but, I did watch this week. What struck me is how much some of these contestants believed in themselves. In reality, even my singing sounds better than theirs! And, trust me, that's not saying much. I kept asking myself how is it they see themselves good enough to stand up there and belt out a song when, truth be told, their voice sounds like a sick calf's bellows?

Translate this thought to my writing journey and in creeps another doubt. Am I no better than these wanna-be singers? Am I blinded so much by my own desire to see my stories published that I don't see the truth about it's quality? I guess that's why I sent my manuscript to Donna in the first place. The story sounded fine to me on my last read through. But it's my story, one I've been working with for months. It's sometimes hard to see the forest for the trees.

I've been told by more than one person--lots actually--that my writing is good. Sometimes more than good. I've also been told my stories are entertaining. So, now I'll see what Donna has to say. I know she enjoyed the story, but there's four cassette tapes of comments to listen to. Am I just another American-Idol wanna be in the world of writing? Or am I a promising novelist who just needs to learn a few more skills to kick my story up another notch or two?

Stay tuned!


Winter said...

Don't worry too much. Donna's great. She's helped me so much with mine, I now know I'm ready for whatever God has planned next. Hopefully that's an agent and a book contract.

Julie Dearyan said...

Whoa! Pam! You are so brave to go through those comments and cassette tapes. That is SOOOO hard. I know how you are feeling and I want you to know that I'm rooting for you. It is so hard to go through a strong crit but I know it will make your great writing even greater!

Cara Putman said...

I've wondered about using Donna's service. It sounds great. I look forward to hearing about your thoughts on her comments and whether they were helpful.