Friday, May 15, 2009

Taking the Fast Lane?

On my commute to work there’s a section where one lane is faster than the other. It’s just past a busy intersection where the road verves off in many directions. If you stay in the right lane, all of the cars merge off the road and you pass by everyone in the left lane. Unfortunately after you get to the top the hill, cars begin merging into your lane, causing it to back up.

If you’re patient enough to stay in the left lane and watch cars race by eventually you’ll pass by everyone in the right lane. Some days when I’m impatient I swing into the right lane only to regret it when we get to the top of the hill and the truck I was originally behind passes me. Mostly I stick to my left lane knowing that eventually other traffic won’t bog it down and I will reach the next set of lights quicker.

What does this have to do with writing you may ask? Well this is the way I see it. I was really hoping to start submitting my novel on April 1st. I was tempted to send it out even though deep down I knew it wasn’t quite ready. I wanted so badly to jump into that right lane. But I’ve stayed in the left and I think in the long run it will get me to where I want to go faster.

What do you think? Do we sometimes jump into submitting sooner than maybe we should because we’re impatient?


JKB said...

I think you're right on with this. I did this with my first book (considered publishable, heh) Waaayyy too early and I paid for it.

It's super good you're being patient, I can't stress enough how awesome this is. :)))))

Heidi Willis said...

Great analogy!! I agree with you and Jen. Patience is the best thing, even if it kills you.

I did the same as Jen - sent my first out way too early. I cringe looking at it now. The second I was itching to send, but really waited a bit, edited, gave other to read and critique, edited more, revised query a million times...

Well, I don't have an agent yet, so who knows if it mattered. But I'm proud of the book still, and I've had lots of requests. So I think it's paying off.

Holly Kennedy said...

Good for you, Patti!

This is such a common problem for writers at all levels of their careers -- when submitting queries to land an agent, when sending manuscripts out to readers for feedback, when handing it over to their agent... who politely hands it back (with a smile) and says, "Perhaps a bit more rewriting is required?"

I don't believe I have EVER regretted biding my time in the slow lane. (Timing is everything in this business :)

Patti said...

It's hard waiting in the slow lane, watching others pass you by. But I think it will pay off in the long run, even if it means I get there later.

Everytime I hear someone ask an author for advice one of the main things they say is: patience, patience, patience. There is no such thing as an overnight success.