Part of the writer’s journey is figuring out if their writing is any good.
Most writers, myself included, are usually confident in their story, but it’s likely that only the best writers, the ones who have been on the NYT Bestseller List multiple times, are confident in their actual writing (the craft, the skill, the technicality).
I have no training to be a writer, except what I had in college when I wrote papers and essays and the occasional short story. I will not be surprised if my work ever gets in front of an editor or proof reader and they are flat appalled. My grammar sucks, I love run-on sentences, I over use the comma, and I love to write the same way I speak, which is not the way you are supposed to write. At all.
So how does one go about figuring out if their writing is any good?
You get it into the hands of the people who know. Editors, professors, agents, publishers, and the like.
But in the same way that it is easier to extinguish a match than a 4-alarm fire, it is easier to address writing issues in a short story than a 200-page novel. The issues are likely the same in both. So you figure out what they are in the shorter piece, and then you address those same issues, one chapter at a time in the larger piece. THEN, you’ve taken a step closer to being ready to put your manuscript into the hands of someone who is certified to tear it apart… again. Rinse. Wash. Repeat.
It’s going to be a long process. That’s not news. What is new to me is the starting place. It is starting somewhere I didn’t realize it needed to. But I have decided after talking to other writers and reading more blogs and articles, that the best first step for me to take, is going to be a small one, which is why my first step towards getting my first novel published, is going to be writing a short story.
I am working on my first short story since college. I am entering it into some contests and trying to get it in front of the right people. The more feedback I get, the better my writing can be. I may even get to build up a resume so that my Agent Query isn’t as sad as it would be today if I were to write one.
I am looking forward to sharing it with you on here sometime in the near future. So stay tuned for that. In the meantime, I’ll be back to share where this first step takes me!