This past week I took my oldest child on a 1300 mile trip to deliver him to college. Although we had been preparing ourselves and him for this trip for almost a year, it was a hard trip for all of us. This was my first ‘baby’ to leave the nest. Boy do they grow fast.
What does this have to do with writing? As with all things, change is not only necessary, it is important. When you finish that manuscript, you’ve edited it and polished it to an inch of its life, it is ready to graduate high school and move on to college. Then comes the hardest part, sending your ‘baby’ out in the world to the publishing world.
As with your child in college, will they stumble and regain their feet on their own? Will your manuscript find the right editor/publisher? Have you given your child the necessary tools to make their own way in life? Is your manuscript perfect and ready to be received by the public? Will your child survive in the world and make the right choices? Will your manuscript succeed and make lots of fans for you?
And as with you new college student, you will know when it’s time to send them off on their own. When it’s time to let them make their own decisions and, yes, even fall on their face and learn to pick themselves up, brush themselves off and make you proud. You’ll know when it’s time to send out that manuscript. When it’s time to make the story work for the public and be a successful story.
As with both it is a painful time, a time of doubt and worry. And it will be a time of happiness and joy when it all turns out great. Change. Painful but necessary for life.
FYI- My son is doing great. He’s making new friends and learning to be completely self- reliant. I’m proud of him and know that he is turning in the man I knew he would be.
Angela Abderhalden is the author of the Mel Addison Mystery Series and Acquiring Editor for Seventh Wave Books, LLC.