Patience…before you publish? Awww, nuts!

Patience is a virtue…heard it? Me too and I have to say, it’s not a virtue of mine. What I’ve discovered (sometimes the hard, painful way) is that impatience has no place in the writing biz. When I contract a book, it will sometimes be a full year until that engaging tome hits the bookshelves, and you know what? That’s a GOOD thing! A paltry 365 days is really hardly enough sometimes to put in the work. Character sketches, detailed synopsis, rough draft, revisions, edits, more edits and proofreading.

It all takes time, but shortcutting is the surest way to disaster. I know. I’ve had to write on very short deadlines and the result? There isn’t the time to “let it sit” for a while, an important practice in giving yourself some distance and a smidge of objectivity. Most of all, having a short time frame means it’s not going to go through the rounds. In my own experience, having three people read it (whom you don’t address as Mom, Granny or BFF) is invaluable. You’ll never get the chance to have that “fresh look” again because once the book is out, the feedback is in the form of posted reviews and oh, those can hurt. It’s particularly tempting, when the whole ebook phenomenon makes it a snap to whip your own novel into the cyberworld moments after you type “the end.” Resist the urge! Trust me on this. Eileen Putman in the July Romance Writers of America Magazine says, “Don’t publish too soon…Just because you can self-publish, doesn’t mean you should. Whatever you put out there is going to be a reflection of you forever.”

Sigh. So patience really is best when it comes to writing books. What areas in your life have you needed an extra dose of patience?
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3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by bn100 on July 27, 2013 at 3:02 am

    waiting in line at an amusement park

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  2. A great message, Dana. Of course everything takes longer than we hope it would, but the process can not be shortened. We owe it to our work to give it the very best chance of success by making it the absolute best we can offer.

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