So something really cool happened yesterday, which was Thursday for my international buddies who are keeping track. But right about now, I’m thinking I should stop and give you a little bit of a preface with some backstory, before I shriek from the mountaintop that I’ve climbed on top of
and I’m never coming down.
Okay, so I entered the Twitter #KidPit contest for pitching your manuscript to agents back in May of this year. I got some likes, and ended up sending the MS to two of the agents who requested. Afterwards, I went into heavy revisions because
I thought it was utter trash I thought I made a huge mistake by sending the MS out too early and hoped I could fix the MS in case the agents did request the full. (Not sure what I was thinking to be honest.) Anyway, being a neurotic mess I questioned my entire MS, along with the direction my life was going, and while I waited for their responses, I completely overhauled the MS. Then, a few months later, I got the rejections and continued revising taking their feedback to heart and resolved to resubmit to them once the MS was actually fit for human eyes.
Fast forward to now. MS is still not fit for human eyes. I repeat, not fit for human eyes. So, naturally, I DID NOT enter the competition this Thursday. Why am I so excited then? You ask. Why am I as happy as a little squirrel who just hauled a bunch of nuts into her hovel and is overjoyed that her baby squirrels will not starve through the harsh winter? (Okay, bad metaphor guys, I’m working on it.)
Well, let me stop beating around the bush. Drumroll please….
I got likes on my OLD tweet. From when I entered the competition, oh you know, BACK IN MAY!!!
Do you know what that does for my ego? It absurdly inflates it, that’s what that does. It makes me think I know what I’m doing,
which of course I do, which I bloody do not! But I’m gonna come down from my little mountain for just a second and then I’ll happily jump back up there and shriek until my voice is raw, because guess what?!?! I LEARNED SOMETHING!
You: WHAT?!?! You learned something? No way? Not you, oh ever knowledgeable, super awesome, know-all of all things writing!
Me: Yes! Crazy, right, who’d have thunk!
Now, pay attention. Because, suddenly, I’m officially an expert.
Here’s the tweet that was liked by two agents. (If an agent ‘likes’ a tweet that is their invitation for you to submit to them.)
Okay, so not bad, but not like ridiculously amazing either.
Also, side note, I’m not sharing this to brag. Like, I’m seriously not. I know in the grand scheme of things, two likes is cotton candy on your Sperry’s in comparison to other writers who actually entered and who got like a billion likes on their tweets. This is just me being absurdly excited because I get excited and leap onto counters out of pure joy for everything that happens in my life.
Anyway, back to what I was saying before my head shrunk down to it’s normal size for the past two seconds.
What is there to learn from this tweet? VOICE my friend, voice. Well, that and character. Okay, and one other thing….I’m bad at boiling my lessons down to one thing! Just roll with me here.
I cringed when I read my months old tweet. Not because it was god awful, but because I felt so silly for having not listened to my instinct to go in this direction earlier. It wasn’t until much much later that I learned that the characters I had in my head sounded very different on paper. I had to
scour my soul really dig deep to learn who they were, what their motivations are, what drives them, their dreams etc to really convey them the way I had intended, but had failed at in my initial incarnation of them.
Lesson of this incredibly long winded story? Follow your gut. Listen to the inner voice telling you where to take your story and do it. It feels like jumping off a cliff sometimes,
okay all the time, but most times, if you’re true to your intentions, you’ll find that your instinct takes your writing to incredible heights, looping back in ways you didn’t anticipate but your bloody instinct knew so it did it on it’s own.
Then again, this whole instinct thing may just be me being weird and the thing I call my instinct is really just a super helpful leprechaun who, for whatever reason, whispers incredible ideas into my ear while perched atop my shoulder. *shrugs*
I guess I’ll never know the truth.
Do you have a crazy helpful leprechaun who helps you write stuff?!?! Have you ever felt a bit like Gandalf when you come to your work in progress and you don’t know where you’re going anymore or you’ve lost sight of what you wanted?
Has intuition helped lead your out of the metaphorical mines of darkness and back into the light? Share!! Share your stories with me in the comments!