Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Are you ready?


I'm back from my travels. There was some post waiting ..

Once I've dealt with that, I'll be sorting through my photos and sharing *a few*. Are you ready for that?






"When do you know your story is ready?" is this month's Insecure Writer's Support Group question.

I think this is something which becomes instinctive over time. At least that seems to have been the case for me. 

When I first started writing, what I thought were finished stories were really just tidied up first drafts. I got lucky with a few, but soon realised that putting in a bit more effort would improve my chances. For a while that meant I rewrote stories over and over trying to get them perfect. That's OK in theory, but there's always something else which can be changed. I've gradually learned to spot when I'm just making changes and not actually improving the story.

The key is to make the particular piece of writing the best YOU can at that time. Maybe others would write it differently, perhaps even better, but if you've done your best, it's time to stop tweaking and send it on its way.


22 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Best at that moment - good advice. A year later it won't be, but it just needed to be great at the time.
Have fun sorting all of that mail.

Bonnee Crawford said...

All that mail! Someone is popular! Looking forward to seeing the photos from your travels.

I am still somewhat in the habit of sending out polished early drafts. Especially if I think they're more polished than usual--it usually just means it was a longer story than the last one, and so it took more time. Great advice, Patsy!

Nicola said...

Welcome back. Good luck with the post :) Thank you for sharing your words of wisdom. The learning curve is a long but worthwhile one). Congrats for your latest publications! Great stories.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Patsy - oh yes, coming home can throw up other issues ... lots of lovely letters - or bills ...

Good luck with all your new books and ideas ... and welcome back! - Hilary

Neil Waring said...

I think all of us want to quit and sometimes do after a nice polish of the first draft. Editing is not much fun, I agree with your point about making changes without improving the story, I am a true expert at that. As far as the huge pile of mail, I would put it in a box and hope someone else (my wife) goes through it and sorts out what I need. :-)

Teresa Ashby said...

That's a huge pile of mail! Hope there's some good stuff in there :-)

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

You're so right. All we can do is our best. It's probably better than we think.

Karen Lynn said...

I'm absolutely convinced that the best way to learn is to make something the best you can, finish it, and move on to the next project. I have some long-term obsession-projects from the past that prove it.

Jenni Enzor said...

So true about doing the best you can right then. That's what I've learned too. I always look back, thinking I could've done better, but it's better to just move forward.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Good advice, Patsy. What a lot of mail - but bring on the photos!

Diane Burton said...

Your advice is spot on. Do the best then let it go.

Patsy said...

Yep - if we're doing it right we'll keep getting better!

Patsy said...

Either popular or we've been away a long time, Bonnee!

Patsy said...

Thanks, Nicola.

Patsy said...

Not many bills, Hilary - we got all those online!

Patsy said...

I quite like editing, Neil - well, the first few pases when I know for sure that I'm improving things.

Patsy said...

Yep, some of it was, Teresa.

Patsy said...

It's hard for us to be objective, isn't it?

Patsy said...

The moving on to the next thing is important, I think, Karen.

Patsy said...

Forward is the right direction, Jenni.

Patsy said...

Lots of it was junk, Rosemary (hadn't realised we had so many pizza places round our way!)

Patsy said...

Now all I have to do is follow it!