I sent a new short story (“A House Divided”) out into the world this week. As an unpublished writer it’s always scary to let one of your babies leave home. Of course, about two minutes after I sent it I was informed of a minor but critical tense error. There’s just no winning, is there?
I’ve spent the week asking myself, “Did that little error kill my chances? Was it really ready for an editor’s eyes?” But those questions will drive a man mad faster than you can say, “Cthulhu fhtagn!”
At some point you have to trust your own voice. For us unpublished folk, that’s probably the hardest part of the process. I like to imagine that it gets easier as your work is published (validation!) but I’m not so sure that’s the case.
The good thing about all this fretting is that there’s an easy fix. Write!
And that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. (After giving myself a day off.) I picked up my pen and started writing anew. I’m 500 words into a new short story, in the process of rewriting an older short story, and I’ve added a few thousand words to my novel.
So I guess that makes me winning, right?