Monday, June 11, 2007

Back Seat Driving

It sounds like Linda Acorn at Just Like the Nut is on similar journey as I am. She’s got a great post about what I like to call “life in the slow lane.” You writers out there, submitting your work, know what I’m talking about. It’s all the waiting we have to do in this business that we have no control over. But there’s help. Linda points out the things we need to concentrate on that we do have control over.

So I’m going to be a back seat driver here (in a good way!) and comment directly to each topic she brought up. She’s got some very good insight. You should read her post before you finish reading mine.

Here’s my take on the things she mentions that we can control:

Our writing. Learn, polish, and revise. Have your work critiqued by experts. Listen to those experts. Know that your work is the best it can be before you submit.

Our understanding of the craft and of the market. Research. Do your homework. Don’t waste time submitting to someone who isn’t just right for your work. No easy task I know, but there are many ways available to get to know publishers, editors and agents. Hang out in libraries and bookstores. Get to know as many books as you can and the work of as many authors and illustrators as you can. Order publisher catalogs. Go to conferences and ask questions. Read websites, messages boards, and blogs. You’ll be amazed at what you’ll learn.

Our professionalism. This is the easiest thing you can do. Learn the format. Learn the rules. Follow them. Present everything in a clean, neat, professional manner.

Our connections. This is the most fun thing you can do! Creative people are a fun bunch. At all of the connections Linda lists, I have met great people. Not only does one "never know where one of these connections might lead” but you never know who might be willing to help you out. Creative people also seem to be extremely generous.

My bottom line: Take control where you can and be patient.

Linda quotes British writer Rodney Collin. "One has to wait without impatience for what should come, and yet at the same time do everything within one's power as though one were impatient and as though one were solely responsible."

This reminds me of a fortune cookie saying I once heard. “The harder you work, the luckier you get.”


Holli Conger said...

Great post! I blogged about it too!

gail said...

Although I visit
daily, I forgot about your other blog. I've read it before, but simply lost sight of it in blogland. Nice to be reminded. And thanks for mentioning me. Glad you're reading my blog!


Don Tate II said...

Thanks for the link and insight

LindaBudz said...

Gail, I don't know if you've ever done the "eight things about me" meme, but if not, I am hereby tagging you! (Details can be found on my blog,

gail said...

Just did 8 things on my June 1st post. I enjoyed reading your 8 things. I' still thinking aobut cherry pie.


LindaBudz said...

Sorry, I'm an idiot ... I found this blog through your eight things after you tagged Cheryl! Didn't mean to re-tag you!!

gail said...

No problem Linda, all this playing tag can get a little confusing sometimes!