Hey, all you emerging writers out there. This is serious stuff. Tired of the garret lifestyle, the self-imposed deadlines you never meet. Well, you could blame that Covid-19 thingy but you need to get moving again. Actually you really need to get moving…
Go for a walk, think over your future options.
You are not really looking for fame and fortune (cough) but it would be nice for someone to show some interest, read your work, comment on it, appreciate it, encourage you and, perhaps maybe, take your manuscript one or two steps further, or even work towards (gasp) publication.
Twill never happen if those pages and pages of Word.doc and PDF drafts sit idle or continual rewriting takes up all your time; your precious creative time.
You need to be actively finishing work and getting it out there, but—
Your inner voice mutters alluring proposals about buying that new How To Write book, the literary organisations to join, writing workshops and conferences to attend, the obligatory book festival rounds, catching up with your book club Zoomies, and that not-to-be-missed favourite author talk.
The above-mentioned diversions take planning, I know because I have done that for over five years. Let’s not get into the time-sucking Socials and lists of new books waiting to be read because writers “gotta keep their finger on the pulse”.
Dream-on pen pushers and keyboard tappers
It took me awhile to realise that it is a daydream, a distraction, a cunning brain slip to lull me into thinking that I know my craft reasonably well and could be half good at writing…
My writer’s brain has to accept that it takes courage to submit my work and to undergo scrutiny.
Otherwise, as my aunt Joyce would have said, “All window-dressing, darling” or if you prefer something more contemporary “Totally photoshopped, dude.” It means I am concealing the desire to find out the truth about my writing, the culmination of my creative energy.
This is where the hidden “I can’t push myself out there” syndrome rears its ugly head. “I only write as an outlet”, “I only write for myself” blah, blah, blah.
Snap out of it! I ask myself why not submit something really good, work I am proud of?
Then my inner roadblocks appear
- Strong competitors
- Heaps of knockbacks
- Fearful of feedback
- Uninteresting story
- Uninterested readers
- My lack of polish
- People will know I wrote it
- The veracity of my stories
- Nightmare of unsold books
All useless babble; but if it’s not true, what next?
Stop hanging around! You have many choices, one decision—
Do what author Jack Roney did!
Enter a manuscript development prize!
As a second-place winner of Hawkeye Publishing’s Manuscript Development Prize, Jack Roney pays tribute to the Hawkeye team. I recently read and reviewed his excellent book The Ghost Train and The Scarlet Moon.
Like mine, I hope your writer’s brain is tick, tick, ticking—
Thinks “I’ll take a look at Hawkeye Manuscript Development Prize 2022“
Thinks “I’ll read eligibility and terms and conditions of entry”
Shouts “I WILL enter the Hawkeye Manuscript Development Prize 2022!”
Entry to the program is open to applicants WORLD-WIDE who write for an English-speaking audience.
Winner receives Author Coaching, Structural Edit and Line Edit (Prize Value AU$2,500) with the structural edit kindly sponsored by Brisbane Writers Workshop, and line editing and author coaching sponsored by Hawkeye Publishing.
As my favourite inspirational quote says:
“Today You Can And You Will”
♥ Gretchen Bernet-Ward