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24 February 2010


Having the Courage of your Convictions
As writers we are constantly told to edit, proofread and polish. And good advice it is too. I've been working on a short story submission for an anthology. I buddied up with one of the gang on Writers Abroad - have I told you what a great place ithat is to be? Yes? Oh well, you've been reminded again. Anyway, Alyson and I swapped stories and provided feedback and comments a couple of times. It is so useful having someone else look at your work. Writers get too close to their projects sometimes they can't see even the very blatant errors. Like moving from past into present tense half way through the story, or writing 'would' instead of 'wood' or changing a characters name without realising it. You know the kind of thing I mean. But it could be the difference between acceptance and rejection. With the many thousands of entries that are submitted to anthologies, competitions and magazines, they have to employ some way of sifting through the pile. And this kind of thing is essential. But there also comes a time when you've done all the polishing that you can, when you have to take a deep breath  and either press the 'send' button or let go of the envelope. I did just that eventually today, after I'd asked my Man Friday to do 'one last check'. Good job too, the wily little proofreader picked up another couple of errors. But now it's gone and I can't do any more apart from forget about it and move onto the next project. 
Thanks Alyson (and my Man Friday)!

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