Just Not Good Enough
It’s time to be completely honest. Both with you and, most importantly, with myself.
My manuscript just isn’t good enough.
And that’s fine. No really, it is. Because I’d rather know than not. I’ve seen way too many writers, both online and in print, who put work out there not knowing it wasn’t good enough.
Heh, which seems like a misnomer, because of logic surrounding my reading them in print. Because if they got published, surely it was good enough, no? Then why is some of it just not very good?
It’s all a Big Dumb Game, really. This is a crapshoot, a lottery, a gamble. Same as being a Hollywood Star, an AFL star or a celebrity of any description. While it’s all just luck, it’s really about positioning yourself for the opportunity.
And it takes opportunity to have that opportunity.
How many authors do you see that talk about how they were on the bare bones of their ass, submitting stories to competitions, working on their manuscript(s) and submitting over and over only to be rejected time and again, before they finally hit on a winner. Everybody knows one of those stories.
But there’s not a lot of them. Walk through your local library and look around. How many of those books do you reckon is one of those stories? Not many. Hardly any. Maybe not more than one or two, if that.
Most books are written by those with privilege and opportunity. They’ve got the time to sit and write, they’ve got the means to ignore the world while they write, they’ve got the connections to put their work out there and they’ve got the right look, the right name, the right package, to be able to sell.
Have a cruise through your local writer’s newsletter or association. How many people there look different? Not many. Most look, for the most part, quite the same. THOSE are the people that are getting published. Mostly because they can.
So why not others? Are there not more stories to tell? Isn’t there a multitude of perspectives out there, just waiting to be shared and enjoyed by others?
I’ll be honest again. I look like most of the people being published, the ones you see in your newsletters and associations. But that actually limits my opportunity, because I don’t have the other opportunities.
I’m not connected, I have no money to join all the associations and I don’t have the time nor means to attend all the conferences and meet-ups and literary speed-dating setups. I have time to write, but I’m battling against Life, Lifing At Me, every day. I’ve got literally hundreds of stories to tell, all of them good. But that isn’t what really matters these days.
But I have the ambition to put myself out there, and it’s time to start doing that more. My manuscript just isn’t good enough, not yet, and I’ll keep working at it.
In the mean time, it’s time to start submitting everything else that I can. Short stories, Flash Fiction, Competition entries, those are opportunities. I may not always have the $15 to enter many of them, but I need to always have a story I can enter. That’s the key.
I actually hate some catchy phrases like “You gotta be in it, to win it!” but that’s mostly because they’re distilling down and simplifying a lot of what I’ve touched on above. I also hate them because they do this while still being 100% true.
Time to start getting some shit together, and putting it out there.
Wish me luck.