Writerly patience?

Everybody seems to be in a hurry to do everything these days (me included). And I watching-the-clockcertainly don’t want to add fuel to the self vs. traditional publishing debate. (I’ve done one and plan to do both in the future). However…

I do think the proliferation of self-publishing has caused a LOT of writers (certainly not all) to skip a few really, super important steps. Namely…

a) Critique–lots and lots of critique from peers. There should be numerous sets of eyeballs on our work–other writers, readers, family, friends, editors, then more and more writers. This is not a one-time thing. It takes several rounds of critique for any story to graduate to…

b) Editing. Macro edits, micro edits, story edits, content edits, line edits. Not all writers make great editors. Again, this is not a singular event, but more like a long series of waves. Some will be pleasant, warm and swirly and ticklish. And a few of them should knock us on our writerly butts. All of them should propel the work forward.

Along with patience, plan on heavy doses of discipline, time, and some very hard work. Traditional publishing forces these issues. The self-publisher must force him or herself. In my estimation, the disciplined writer takes the time to vet his/her work, regardless of how or when it gets published.

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