Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Road Trip Wednesday: Mistakes

It's time for another Road Trip Wednesday, a blog carnival hosted by the lovely ladies of YA Highway.
This week's question: 

What's the biggest writing / querying / publishing mistake you've made?

Now I know that the biggest mistake I made in writing was starting without an outline. Pantser, I am not. I have had to rewrite this thing so many times, and add stuff, and take stuff out, and redo, and fix, and it has taken so long. 

Now I know this. But I didn't know when I started. 

Luckily, I really do learn from my mistakes. And I know that when I start my next project it will be heavily outlined, hopefully saving me this rewriting woe.

Learning from your mistakes is a good thing, And I feel like hanging around the blogoshpere has helped me see the mistakes of other people when it comes to querying, But I think a mistake I am making is spending too much time reading about other people's querying stories and not enough time working on getting my ms ready to query. It's easy to freak yourself out, and I find myself spending more time than I should getting prepared for querying when the #1 way to be ready for querying is to, you know, have a polished ms. 

How about you, what mistakes have you made? (Hopefully nothing too embarrassing!)


  1. Good point about the time spent reading other people's querying stories! I have made mistakes in how I balance time spent in the blogosphere and time spent actually writing.

  2. Ugh... the balance of time online is so tricky. If only there were more hours in the day!

    I'm a total outline too. :)

  3. Such a good point there at the end. I do the same thing. I'll spend hours reading about crafting the perfect query, looking at examples of queries gone bad, etc but it's time I'm away from my manuscript.

  4. The trick to writing a query is to just write it. And then plan to rewrite it countless number of times. But I found that once I just spit something out on paper, I had something to work with. Trust me, it was cringe-worthy, but I had something to work with. Just do it, Jessica - I'd like to snag your book off a shelf one day - soon, preferably. :)

    Anyway - yes, I find the balancing exhausting. I'm not on Twitter often enough, I don't blog regularly, then when I do, I'm not writing enough to my satisfaction. It's tough, but schedules, lists, and self-imposed deadlines have been a big help to me. They don't always work, but they help.

  5. I used the same Homer pic for my post--great minds think alike!

    Having to work on pitches actually helped me focus better on my second book; I usually don't do formal outlines, but I do have sort of a sequence of important events before I start writing. The writing involves fleshing out those events and filling in the blanks.

    But I needed a pitch for Pitch University (GREAT resources there, BTW) and it made me really hone in an outline.

  6. Ugh. I do the exact same thing - spending time reading other people's querying and publishing stories that would be greatly better spent working on my manuscript.

  7. Good call-- definitely have to find a balance between learning from other people's mistakes and obsessing.