Friday, April 22, 2016

When to Settle for Not the Pulitzer Type Dreams You've Always Had

I don't know about the rest of you guys, but I'm a control freak when it comes to my writing.  I want everything to be perfect.  I imagine the absolute best my work can be, the amount of sales or awards it will rake in, the amount of other projects and creative freedom I will have from my nonexistent agent and fictitious editors.  It's almost debilitating because I cannot "settle" or see my little idea babies as non-glorious.

An example:  This weekend I hammered out 800 words of a nonfiction that I intended to send to Highlights.  Then, I show it to my wife.  She tells me that it would make a great book.  A book is a way bigger positive for me than a magazine article (which, would still be amazing).  Is it better to query it first?  How long?  Should I just send it to the magazine?  But then, I sell the rights away and can never publish it.  It's enough to make me want to watch 3 straight hours of House of Cards until it all goes away.  

  So for me, I pose this question to everyone out there:  How do you know when to let go of a certain idea for your projects?  How do you know if this is a better epub than publisher book?  Because, for me, it feels like once I let one project be a certain way, I cannot take it back.  And, what if that was the one that could have gotten an agent or publisher?

Does anyone have this experience or am I just a weird?      


  1. Kidding! I specifically wrote stuff for magazines first to get "publishing credit" to put on cover letter for when I then submitted my books. BUT I don't think that is necessary. Do you have a local SCBWI group that you can share it with that can help you decide?

  2. I do, but I'm not plugged in. One problem I ran into when I went to a regional conferences, was the advice I got from the local members directly contradicted what a New York editor told me. So I never know who to believe.