Wednesday, March 17, 2010


This is my weekly post over at Sisters In Scribe

Recently, I had one of those moments writers dream of. An agent read some of my writing samples on my blog and requested a partial.

Awesome, right? AMAZING! I was stunned and surprised (and let this be a guide for everyone hoping to draw attention to their work, two tips - 1. MAKE SURE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS IS ON YOUR BLOG and 2. TAG your teasers!) and then moments later, the elation turned to that most evil of all emotions - DOUBT.

I won't get into what those doubts were, they were the standard fare that I'm sure you can come up with on your own. What I doubted is not the point. The point is that in a moment that should've felt like validation, I was personally invalidating myself.

The important thing is that I realized I was doing it. And 90% of solving a problem is figuring out what that problem is. (Okay I just made that up, it could be like, 78%.) Knowing I was having an irrational reaction helped to tone that reaction down and keep it from overwhelming me and convincing me that before I send anything I need to say, rewrite my entire book in the 3rd Person POV of a snail, and remove all instances of the word "the".

So what to do about doubt? I don't think it will ever go away. It's like the weather. Sometimes it has to rain, but you can prepare for it, and you can know it's not going to rain forever. If you're serious about being the best writer you can be, and creating the best work, then you will have moments of doubt. Even Mother Teresa questioned her faith!

Just make sure that when those moments come you recognize them for what they are - your desire to be your best - take a deep breath and don't email or delete anything until you've calmed down!


Melissa said...

Congratulations on having an agent request a partial. That is great news:)

Yes, doubt is something every writer has to deal with and you're correct in saying you should calm down before doing anything you may regret. Great observation!

Candyland said...

That's fantastic! (Adding email to blog!)

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Great news, Valerie! Thanks for the great advice (I don't label, but I guess I should) and for the positive encouragement. :-)

Patty said...

That's amazing! I wish you the best of luck from one writer to another.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Oh, my! That story made my day. I am so excited for you. But I do know that doubt voice very well. It always wants to rain on my parade. I'm glad you saw it for what it was. Good luck!

Book Monster said...

Congrats :) This is amazing news!!

Everyone has doubts, even the greatest writers. It's ok to be insecure about things. Especially over writing!!

laurel said...

That's fantastic news! And great tip about adding an e-mail addy to your blog. I've been hesitant to post bits of my WIP but maybe I'll try it a little--and tag them, too.

And if you didn't have some doubts and fears, it would only mean you're not invested in the outcome. These emotions are a normal part of any risk worth taking.

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