Today, I wanted to spill a little bit of what I've learned by doing edits with an agent and then an editor. Maybe it will help someone realize something that will make their 2011 the year of years.
I learned that the impossible is possible. No, really, keep reading.
You know how you get notes from someone, or feedback from an agent or whatever? And the first thing you think is, "Uhh...I don't know if I can do that."
24 hours later, you're full-on screaming through the house: "I can't do this! How do I do this?"
And 72 hours later, you're crying at weird moments while watching The Office and/or curled up in bed, fully clothed, eating Oreos, chanting, "I can't do this. I can't do this."
Or maybe that's just me.
All because your beta/crit partner/agent/editor made a little comment in the margin of your novel. Surely they didn't intend for you to freak out, right?
But you, the author, have no idea how to do what they've suggested/asked you to do. You know you *should* do it. It would make the novel/story better.
But, but HOW??
*insert screaming, freaking out, crying, eating, watching more TV*
If you've ever found yourself in this situation, raise your hand. And then read this: The impossible is possible.
Here's how I learned that: I did it. That's right--I achieved the impossible!
You can too. Here's how:
1. When you come across said panic-inducing note, write it down.
That's all. Don't try to fix it. Don't immediately reach for the sour patch kids. Don't go turn on Two Weeks Notice, and then proceed to be depressed for the rest of the day. Just write it down in your trusty notebook of Impossible Things You're Going to Conquer.
2. Work on the easy stuff. You know, the commas and voice and blah, blah, blah. Periodically check your List of
I guarantee that as you're working on the other stuff, you will find the exact spot you need to fix exactly what your beta reader/crit partner/agent/editor said.
I guarantee it. If you don't, well, I'll send you a pound of bacon and a DVD to help you through this hard time.
And that's the biggest thing I learned last year re: my writing.
What about you? Tell me you've curled into a ball and watched your favorite shows. Tell me how you achieved the impossible. Or tell me what you do when you get a comment you know you need to fix, but you don't know how. How do you go about solving it?