There's no question that every story an author completes is truly a labour of love. So much heart goes into narrating a novel to successfully relate and touch its readers. Whether the inspiration comes from real life experiences, or just ones creative imagination, there's no dispute that the connection an author has to their story is deep. So much so, that many completed works have probably actually never seen the light of day because the author can't seem to let it go. Whether that be overanalyzing every single element, falling into the hole of edits that literally become never ending, or simply being too protective/sensitive to have anyone critique it.
I can one hundred percent attest that it's hard to let a manuscript go. Especially one that you've truly poured your entire being into. Nothing ever seems good enough and there's always another tweak you find after you've reread it for the thousandth time. This resonates even harder for first time writers. Well, it's time to get out of your head and get your story told! Here are some tips that can help assist in releasing untold stories into the world.
Get a trusted source to read it first.
Sure I could tell you that if you're having anxiety about the quality of your tale, have a trusted friend or family member read it first. This way you can be comfortable in knowing that any advice you get back will be truthful and sensitive to your feelings. However, here's the thing, when your target market reads your book (which they will) they don't give a rats ass about your feelings, and will be brutally honest when writing a review. Therefore, I say hand it over to a professional editor or beta reader to get an unbiased opinion. This is the best way to rip off the band-aid. Which leads us into the next point...
Don't shoot the messenger.
Understand that when you have your manuscript professionally edited, you're going to be told things you don't want to hear. Whether it's suggesting to change a part you convinced yourself was sheer perfection, or cutting out something altogether. You have to be open to critique. Don't get me wrong, it's important to go with your intuition on things you think are valuable to your story, it's a different thing altogether if all you're going to do is fight and argue about every suggested change.
Yes, you wrote the story,
you created the characters,
you crafted it all piece by piece...,
but you could very well not be the target reader. If this is the case, you have to understand that certain elements are going to have to change to speak to your target so that they can devour it whole. Be open to finding out what those things are. Take notes of all the consistent things you hear about your manuscript and make changes accordingly.
Trust in yourself.
We are our own worst critiques and at times, our own worst enemy. I can't tell you the amount of times I worked myself up into an anxious mess when someone was reading my story because I was certain they were going to come back and tell me it was utter crap. To be completely transparent, sometimes they did, but 8/10 times the response was positive and praising. You will not be everyones cup of tea, and that's ok. If you know in your soul that your story has potential and are open to possible changes from editors, or beta readers, trust yourself. Never doubt your worth and keep in a positive headspace with daily affirmations. You CAN do this.
At the end of the day, the only person that will hold you back from telling an amazing story is yourself. So do yourself a favour and get out of the way.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!