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Monday, September 18, 2006

When is Enough, Really Enough?

If this photo looks familiar, it is. But it also portrays exactly how I'm feeling!

I've been working on the same WIP, no the same prologue for almost two years now. I've entered it in contests and got critiques. My crit partners have bleed all over my pages and it was even critiqued by an agent. All had great things to say. And with every critique I made changes. I thought it was almost finished. In fact, I had a writer friend look it over and she said it was excellent. Then I took the opportunity for a free critiqueby another writer/critiquer friendand it was obvious there was still room for improvement.

Now, I guess this WIP will be marked as the major LEARNING WIP because I am learning so much. But I'm wondering, will it ever be ready to get published? Honestly, I've seen some pretty bad fiction published. They could have used a dozen critiquers to help improve the prose, but when is enough really enough?

I love the new edit I just got and I made some great changes already, but when will it be ready to be sent out again? It's been rejected by many of the big houses, so obviously it wasn't ready. But when will it be, and when will I know?

Being a writer can be so frustrating at times. I want to learn, but in my humble opinion it takes a lot of money to learn. I've already spent probably a couple hundred (not including conferences) on this one WIP, and it's still not ready. [shaking my head] It's really enough to make me want to through in the towel.

But I can't. I'm a writer.

[Sigh] So what's your opinion? When do you shelve your WIP and move on. It might be easier for me if I didn't have such conflicting opinions about my WIP! If I knew it absolutely stunk, I'd shove it in a drawer and lift my hands in defeat. But two years on the same prologue? I haven't even finished the WIP, yet. When is enough, enough?

Gina Conroy is a homeschooling writing mom of four. For more musings by this author, visit her blog Portrait of a Writer...Interrupted.


Heather said...

If you are going back to writing completely, with the Lord's blessing, may I sugest finishing at least a rough draft of the whole. I have done a lot of proofing of pre-published works that are about to be sent out and shared, and they have all been finished. (That said, I realize that my own blog doesn't look like someone who proofreads, only because I don't have time to rad and reread and often forget to spellcheck. At this point I am lucky I write a sentence with no interuptions. :))

Don't be in a hurry, God's timing is perfect and He knows what His plans are for you. (I know you knew that but...) I work on mine little at a time. I stay away from it for a month, come back and write another chapter or two. I am not saying that that is how your should be, eveyone writes differently, just that I am in no hurry, because I know it is in His hands regardless. If He lays it on my heart to focus more on my writing, then I will do focus, but for now I must be patient.

Gina said...

Thanks for the encouragement. I'm not feeling that way anymore and after I restructure the first 50,000 words I will definitley plow ahead without my editors hat on. I recently got my synopsis critiqued and there were some structural issues, so before I can move on I have to take care of those.

I will only get to write on the weekends, and this time around I have a different perspective. I'm not as much anxious to "sell" as I am anxious to grow and learn and have some great writer take me under her/his wings and teach me the ropes so I don't waste what little precious time I have.

For me, ACFW this year is all about learning, growing and networking. I'm not even worried about selling. That's God's job and believe me it's taken me about two years to get to that point.