Am I Ready to Submit?

In May, I had my "four minutes of fame" at the Seattle Bootcamp. I read the opening paragraph of my picture book biography to the very kind and helpful agent, Clelia Gore. While she liked the subject of the story, I was unclear whether she was interested in a submission. Nevertheless, I have worked to sharpen each word and make the story sparkle and sizzle. I've added a glossary, timeline, and bibliography. My critique group will be dissecting it on Saturday. But...when will I know that it is ready to submit?

I am cursed (or blessed) with perfectionism so I am constantly reworking, rewriting and reworrying! I know that's not a word but it should be. When worry repeats endlessly, it should have its own word! 

Rejection is my nemesis. I understand that publishing empires are built on an enormous pyramid of rejection.  It starts with agents and goes up the steps to editors, acquisition editors and finally to reviewers.  Rejection is lurking everywhere. I need to get used to that if I am ever going to attempt publication. 

Which brings me back to my original question. My University of Washington writing professor, Jolie Stekly, told me to "trust your gut."  One of my critique groups encouraged me to submit my biography. Is the manuscript ready AND am I ready for possible (?probable) rejection? I reassure myself that Jane Yolen, famous children's author of 366 books still gets rejection slips! I tell myself that maybe I will learn something from the process. Not to write anymore?? No, I am too stubborn. This is how my friend, Robin, encouraged me to risk rejection. 

One day I will climb the pyramid and hope not to fall, but today I will be rewriting and reworrying!



patricia oppenheim