Ten writers for children. All with something to say.
One thing my critique group has taught me is to celebrate the milestones of writing, both big and small. No reason to wait until an editor has offered a publishing contract before bringing in celebratory cookies. Sending off a query letter, finishing a particularly tough chapter, or receiving an encouraging rejection letter can all be reasons to feel proud.
My latest accomplishment is meeting my end-of-summer goal of finishing yet another draft of a middle grade novel I've been working on for over eight years. On one hand I'm embarrassed to admit I've been working on a story for so long, yet on the other, I'm pleased that I've continued to stick with this tale which has continued to intrigue me. After all this time, I'd expect to have a polished literary gem. But I'm afraid it's not. It's a solid draft, nothing more, ready at last to show editors, but far from being finished.
Why would anyone spend so long working on one story that may never even be published? Yes, I've worked on other stories as well during this time, but when I think of the hundreds and hundreds of hours I've put into this manuscript, I wonder why. The encouragement of my writing group has definitely kept me going. But it's more than that. As trite as it sounds, maybe it's a story I need to tell, for whatever reason, whether or not an editor finds it marketable.
So I end my summer by offering you a plate of virtual cookies and feeling pleased to have reached another milestone in the long journey of this particular tale.