Last week I told you all that I volunteered at the fabulous Rochester Children's Book Festival. What I didn't tell you was that Bruce Coville was there. Bruce Coville was my mentor at Chautauqua back in 2007 and I run into him from time to time because we are both Upstate New Yorkers, but apparently I still feel odd calling him just Bruce.
Anyway, he asked me what I had out for submission. I was like, uh, nothing. You know, I write almost every day, I stammered. He stared at me. I had stuff out for submission earlier this year, I stuttered. Okay! I admit it! I have nothing out there! Nothing in the mail, snail or electronic. Yikes. So he flicked me in the arm.
So. This was a good reminder. I'm supposed to write stuff and then send it out. I don't like sending stuff out. It gets rejected. This makes me unhappy. Also, after a few rejections, I figure out how to fix the story. But by then I am immersed in a different project and lack the enthusiasm to stop my new project and go back and fix the old one. So I don't send it back out. I'll get around to that next revision "someday soon."
Do I wait until I have a chance to really fix it? Or do I send it out anyway, hoping someone will like it as it stands? If I do that, will I burn through all the promising editors and agents before I get that necessary revision done?
-- Kate, Miss Nothing in the Mail