I won’t beat around the bush today. This is me your favourite blogger (I hope) talking about myself. Yes folks, I am referring to that moment of complete despair and disgust with what you have written that the only thing left for it is to throw it in the dustbin! Tell no one you have written it and certainly under no circumstances show it to anyone!
You know that moment when you look back at a piece of writing that you thought was so brilliant, a publisher would be mad to turn down, and you cringe with embarrassment. You get that funny feeling in your stomach and you begin to look at the delightful craft of writing as something you are never going to be good at.
Well, years ago I wrote a novel, working title ‘Another Bite of the Cherry’. It’s about a London man on the verge of crisis as his 60th birthday draws closer! I thought it was okay, I even sent it out to the Literary Agent Darley Anderson. Naturally, I hoped they would like it and offer me a lucrative publishing deal. Wouldn’t that be something? That wish lasted for about three weeks or so before they came back to me saying ‘no thank you’.
It’s nice to dream, but what has happened to that book you may wonder. It exists in its various forms now and again I take it out and have another look at it. I decided recently that this novel was certainly one for the dustbin despite a former writing teaching telling me not to throw anything away. Ever. Well, I concluded that my book was the exception. That was until I had this idea to send the first chapter out to a trusted friend. She liked it and explained to me what she liked about it.
Okay, so she is my friend, she has to back me up right? However, I regard every opinion on my book as valid and so should you. I think it is crucial for your development to have a different pair of eyes look over your work. That’s the thing you see, it doesn’t matter where you are in your writing journey you are still learning and learning how to do things better. If you are published then perhaps you want to publish more, or write in different genres.
If like me that book deal is as close as a Lotto jackpot, it is still my goal. So do not under any circumstances commit your work to the dustbin. You never know where it could eventually lead with a little revamp or a downright re-write of the entire work. Either way you have got some raw material to work with and not just a blank page.
Finally, you know the Stephen King story, he threw the manuscript for Carrie into the dustbin until his wife rescued it …
Until next time, happy writing and move the bin out of sight!