|My daughter's book: Dark Unicorn|
Why am I continuing to write without continuing to edit and revise? Why am I not sending out anything to publishers or self-publishing my novels? What is holding me back?
Perfection is what holds me back, or, more accurately, the desire to attain perfection. I am so worried about my stories not being good enough that I play it safe. If I never put my stories out there, no one can ever tell me how badly written they think they are, right? It's a fear that keeps me from finishing them; it keeps me from ever putting my work out there for the world to read and judge.
I admit that I do have short stories out in several anthologies, some published by my own indie publishing company and some by others. But I think what makes it easier is that I know that whether or not someone likes a story is, in part, subjective. And in an anthology, there are a lot of stories written not just by me but by others as well. A reader will like some stories more than others and that's okay. That's normal. So I feel like I'm achieving something with my writing without having to fully put myself out there.
Why am I confessing this now? Because I think, if some of you are finding yourselves doing the same thing, then maybe finding out you are not the only ones might help. Also, I've recently given myself a kick up the pants to FINISH my editing and revising and to get some of my work published - on its own.
The kick up the pants that I needed has to do with the book I published for my nine year old daughter (she's ten now). It's called "Dark Unicorn," and, although it is a sweet story, for those of us who are used to looking at books critically, it is easy to tell that the story was written by a child. But the story is written for children, not for editors or parents or even other writers. And I published her book for her because I wanted her to have confidence in her writing, and I knew it was written well enough, with enough of a story, that children would enjoy it.
And you know what? They do.
Here's a recent post I made to my Facebook profile:
"There's a sweet little girl at Cameron's school who always wants to hold my hand when we're walking to the other children's school. Her grandma picks her up from school.
A couple of days ago, I gave her a copy of Isabella's book "Dark Unicorn." Her first words when she saw it were, "I LOVE unicorns!"
Today, I ran into her and her grandma again. She immediately said, "I don't know where my book is!" Her grandma said, "Yes, you do. It's at home on the couch."
Then her grandma told me how much she loves the book. It's become her favourite book and she's read it dozens of times already, carrying it around with her everywhere in the house.
So this very sweet little girl then said, "It's TEN WHOLE CHAPTERS! And I read it all by myself!"
I can't wait to tell Isabella. She will be so pleased to hear how much this little six year old loves her book."
My nine year old daughter's book is another child's FAVOURITE book! Even if that is the only child who finds this book the best story ever, that's enough. That's why we write.
Your story doesn't have to be perfect. It just has to touch someone's emotions or even just give them some momentary pleasure while they read it. In all honesty, you can write the world's best book, and it still won't be perfect. Perfection is an illusion. And, as long as you write the best book you are capable of writing, whether or not someone else will love your book is completely subjective; everyone's tastes differ.
But if you never get your story out there, if you keep it hidden in a drawer, unfinished, you will never reach anyone with your story. Somewhere there is one child, a little girl or a little boy, who is waiting for your book, who will love your book and carry it around with them and read it over and over just for the pleasure of it.
So don't just write your book - finish it!
|My other daughter's book, "Grabbed by the Shadows"|