The idea for my most recent picture book came to me in the spring when the air is light. Looking back to the first draft, I have to chuckle. It’s so sparse, choppy, and wrapped around one thought, as cute as it may be. Thank goodness for critiquers and revisions.
It’s a truth that critique partners and revisions are kind task masters. They teach one how to flesh out manuscripts that are much too airy. The balance is to keep a picture book manuscript near or under that golden 500 words count and not lose any of the plot, arc, or theme. Shaping your story into its best form is hard, even stressful work. You ponder, prance, even pulsate around it. It encompasses your days, hours, and thoughts.
Then comes the time to prepare your manuscript for submission. You triple check to make sure it’s error free. The writers you know and trust who have read it or critiqued it say, “It’s ready to send.”
“Yes, it’s time to press that button!”
You almost panic for a moment. Really? It’s ready? You’ve been so used to having it to revise, change, contemplate, play with, and even talk to it. You’ve grown used to the joy of working on your manuscript.
“Yes, it’s time to press that button!” Okay, it is time.
Though you love the process of writing, when your manuscript is finally at its best and ready to be released out into the inboxes of agents or editors, you realize this is it. It’s time to take several deep breaths and let go, both of the manuscript and yourself. No more excuses or procrastination. Therein is your relief.
The relief of sharing your manuscript with those outside your circle. There’s even freedom in the sound of clicking the “Send” button.
Boy, I do feel better!
Your input: Do you stress or find relief in submitting your manuscript?