Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Quote of the day

"Nothing you write, if you hope to be any good, will ever come out as you first hoped." --Lillian Helman

This quote always makes me smile. I'm revising the first book I ever wrote after digging it out and dusting it off. The characters won't leave me alone so I decided to hang out with them for awhile to see where they lead me. When I read what I wrote so many years ago, I feel foolish that I ever thought it was good enough to query. How about you? Do you feel this way when you read something you queried long ago and realize that it wasn't near where it needed to be? Honestly, I think I've made probably every mistake a writer can make: queried too soon, didn't research the market or the agents as well as I should have and the list goes on. Hopefully I've learned and grown a lot since then. What about you?


  1. Buffy, where do I begin? I queried a few picture book manuscripts before I knew ANYTHING. I look back and I am totally mortified. Even when I open up a picture book manuscript from a few months back, I find things to tweak and change. It's a constant learning curve and it's all very subjective. The good news is that you can really see and measure your growth when you look back on those experiences. Thanks for this great post. It's nice to know we're not alone in the embarrassing moments department :)


  2. I definitely made every mistake. I met an editor at Little Brown at my first SCBWI conference who told me to send her my whole manuscript. I did when it was done and she showed it to other editors but rejected it. In retrospect, I see how undone it was. But that mistake has given me hope over the years that it's taken to revise it that there may be something there. Good luck with your first project. I think it's a great idea to pull out old projects that we love and rework them.

  3. First of all...Hi! New Follower here. *waves* And I love this quote. I haven't revisited any of my old writing--because I used to write screenplays before I wrote books--but I might have to see about turning one of them into a book someday. Assuming my agent ever lets me finish this round of endless revisions.

    Anyway, nice to meet you. Looking forward to getting to know you better through your posts. :)

  4. Oh, I feel this deeply. I think I've made every mistake in the book too, and then I make another one! But yes, it's hard for me to read my stuff from last year, or even six months ago. We're always growing and changing.

  5. You guys are so awesome for stopping by today. (Happy Dance)

    So, girlfriends, I wonder if we query something too soon and it's crap if, when we query the same agent with a new project that's ready (or less crappy), he or she will automatically think it, too, is crap? Or do they know that we make these mistakes and are growing and learning? In other words, can you give yourself a bad rap by making these mistakes early-on? If there are any agents out there, I'd like to read what you have to say. Anyway... Also, thanks for following Shannon.

  6. LOL, I just found my first manuscript I ever wrote...and submitted (back in the early 90's). I'm still blushing. I still love the concept, but boy does it need a lot of TLC!