Monday, June 30, 2014

Giving your time to help others succeed

Photo credit: Time by Alan Cleaver via Flickr

Time is one of the most important and precious things you can give.

This past weekend, my superstar husband gave me an entire day to research agents, polish my query, and give my submission pages one last glance.

I was so overwhelmed! It was incredibly generous of him (we have three kids, two cats, and a dog!) and worthy of acknowledgement.

Has someone done something similar for you?

Many people gave their time to help me hone my work in progress. When I first started sharing my book, more than a few people gave me great suggestions. They took the time to teach me what they knew. I listened. I read the craft books they recommended and I learned. I'm so very thankful to each of them.

My current critique partners are super awesome! (Amelia, Cheryl, Henry, LaWanda, Marlana, Michelle, and Rina!! *hugs*) Every week, they schedule time to review my submission when they could be revising their own. Their advice is invaluable. My writing is better because they take the time to make thoughtful comments and catch the mistakes my eyes/brain couldn't find.

In return, I give them my best. When one of us is in a crunch and needs some extra eyes on our work, we help each other out. It's greatness. And it wouldn't be possible if we didn't give our time.

Are you part of a critique group? How can you share your time to impact someone's writing journey? Have people in your life been generous with their time to help you succeed? Give them a shout out! :)

Friday, June 27, 2014

That Queasy Feeling

My stomach is all uneasy as I'm putting the final touches on my manuscript. It feels like saying good-bye to a really good friend you know you won't see again for awhile. It's silly. I'm not letting my novel go or deleting it. Good-bye isn't happening. But it feels that way! 

I wasn't expecting to have any emotional outpourings during final edits. Yet, here I am getting some strange feels. I've read where writers say that their novels are like children to them. That unique sense of attachment hasn't presented itself so far, but something like it. I had all sorts of nervous twitterings when I sent my first two kids off to kindergarten. I missed being with them all the time. In a way, sending my manuscript off to agents gives me that same butterflies-in-my-stomach feeling. Except that agents will judge my book worthy of their time or not. Teachers have to take my kids! ;) 

Here's what I've edited during the last spit and shine.

1. Repetitive words 

2. Clunky sentences 
3. Punctuation 
4. Emotional expressions 

I wrote about some fast and easy edits here and 6 tips for a cleaner manuscript here.

How about you? How did you feel sending your manuscript out for the first time? Do you have a short list for final edits? 

Happy reading and writing! :)