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:~: Friday, April 21, 2006 :~:

The Right Thing

My best friend and I both took long-awaited vacations this week. We discussed the separate trips, giggling with anticipation and sighing over photos of our destinations. We shopped together and planned outfits. Basically, we had a blast together getting ready to go.

Our trips couldn't have been more different, though.

Pam and her husband chose a cruise for their trip. It suited them perfectly. They both like to be in the middle of things, they like trendy and cool, and Pam's all about action and people.

I wanted something different. The DH and I took the Monsters over to the Alabama coast, where we found a small island (and when I say small, I mean small) that offered peace and quiet and a short drive into Mobile where we could experience battleships, mummies, science and history.

If Pam had been on that island, she'd have been pulling her cute blonde hair out by day 2. And if I had to take my kids on a cruise . . . whoo-boy.

The key was finding the right thing for both of our families.

The writing path can be the same way. If you've been on any writers' loop for any time at all, or for that matter, hung out with any writer for any length of time, you know what I'm talking about. Advice on the right way to write or the right way to get an agent or the right way to get published is rampant.

And contradictory.

"My multi-pubbed friend says to revise and resub to H/S."

"I saw where Editor X said a rejection means just that -- no. Don't revise and resub, ever."

"You have to go to conferences and mingle."

"You have to plot first."

"Plotting kills the creativity. Even Stephen King says so."

"Your hero can't do that!"

"I always write a first draft all the way through, then polish."

"Polishing as you write is the way to go."

"You shouldn't query unless you've finished the book."

"I always query before I finish the MS."

"If you're not published by your third book, you're doing something wrong."

"It took me ten years and twenty manuscripts to get an editor to say yes."

See what I mean? It's enough to give someone a headache. Not to mention an identity crisis! But this is the thing -- for every person who made it to her destination of publication by following one set of steps, there's another who made it to her own destination following a completely different path.

The only right thing is the one that works for you.

Like choosing a small town island over a trendy cruise.

What steps have worked along your personal path?


Blogger Paty Jager said...

I'll let you know when I get published!

2:43 PM  

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