Dear Manuscript: It's Not You, It's Me
It’s been almost three years since you first began pursuing me. You followed me everywhere I went and spoke to me through the music I listened to. You introduced me to a dynamic group of characters and begged me to tell their stories. You made me want to revisit the town where I grew up and view it through different eyes.
We spent a crazy, whirlwind month together with me in front of the computer while you dictated. Sometimes, we argued. Sometimes, you made me cry. You kept me up late because I just wanted to hear how the story ended. And even after I heard it, our relationship continued through days of editing, proofreading, and a few beta readers. I was so excited about what we had created together, that I submitted queries to a few agents, only to hear, “sorry, I’m going to have to pass on this one.”
And then I’m not quite sure what happened. I got too caught up in what genre our story would fit into, and then I got frustrated. I pulled away from you. I thought we needed to spend some time apart so I could focus on my paying projects, which you couldn't understand. And then another, very different and shorter tale monopolized all my attention and I tried to avoid you altogether.
But I know that wasn’t fair, and you didn’t let me forget you were in my life first. You reminded me we have unfinished business. You suggested to me that we rework the chapters yet again, and convinced me that by revising the book into a young adult story we might have a fighting chance. I agreed with you, but I still haven’t let myself completely commit to you once again.
The problem was never you, it was me. I lost confidence. I let the nagging little doubts about plot, character development and resolution bring me down. I moved on and tried to forget about you. I’m so sorry for that.
I recently worked on those first chapters once again, and something clicked. I think we’re on the right track now. Thank you for not giving up on me. I look forward to spending many more hours with you again, really soon.
Renee Roberson is an award-winning freelance writer and editor who blogs at Renee’s Pages.