Preemies. We pity and hope for them at the same time. For some reason, today as I was driving I thought about preemies, those that are underdeveloped, sickly and not ready to stand alone. Often we grieve for what should have been, or could have been–an ideal of something we wished for, but never actualized.
It is our hope to create something pretty awesome, a novel that will leave readers breathless as they flip to the back of our book, gaze at our professional-looking photo, read our profile again and think, wow.
In our mind’s eye we see the words: best-selling author.
But somewhere, maybe it was in the middle, the plot grew weak, or we realized we didn’t know enough about the subject to make this story as rich as it needed to be. It could be we just didn’t have a story…yet. Still, we trudged on; it’s what good writers do. And at the end it was lacking. Oh, yes a story was there, but as we turned those type-written pages we knew it wasn’t ready to be published…yet.
Sometimes others will appease us (you know, because they love us and all). They tell us our work is great, stellar, people will love it! It is not until we get it under the microscopic eye of an editor or objective reader that they began to point out specific flaws. Ahh…there it is. Often we cannot see what is missing at first glance; we just know that something is definitely wrong.
O.K., they are so honest you almost decide that writing really isn’t your thing and maybe peddling insurance to people that don’t need it for the rest of your life isn’t the worst you could do. This is not the time to have a fit–then again, go ahead and cry if you want, throw something, clean the house, talk to yourself. I’ve done it enough times to know that it does help to relieve the pressure; puffy eyes become war wounds, a clean house a sign of controlled anger. But get back to it afterwards, rework your novel and fix what is broken; add what is lacking. Rewrite. Re-evaluate and make things right. Who said getting your novel published was easy?
Preemies deserve to develop and have a full and vibrant life. The public is brutal; the last thing you want is to put that preemie on the shelves, only to watch it die a sad and slow death, as people assault it or worse yet, ignore it altogether.