Peak Experience

Today, I climbed Mount Everest and planted my flag at the peak.

No, I didn’t take an actual expedition to Tibet; instead, I conquered the fears that were holding me back with my writing. 

You might remember that Emily, my agent, offered me some wonderful suggestions for revision, for which I was (am!) very grateful. Nothing major, mind you, just a few tweaks and adjustments here and there, to make certain pieces pop and to help smooth over some rough edges. After they’re finished, she told me, we’ll be ready to submit my manuscript.

Maybe you’re one of those people who can easily find and fix mistakes, somebody who doesn’t struggle with revisions. Not this writer. I agonize over each addition or deletion. In short, time passes but I can’t seem to get to the finish line. So finally, I told Emily that I needed to break things down into smaller goals and deadlines, in order to be accountable to actually COMPLETING something. And tomorrow’s my first deadline. Only…I ran right past that finish line ribbon tonight! (Oops. New metaphor. Ah well, at least they’re both related to, um, exertion and accomplishment.)

Naturally, I got some help from my LJ friends. (Thank you, you know who you are.) But I also got (re)inspired by my favorite quotation by Goethe:

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.”

I’m looking forward to sending my revisions to Emily tomorrow morning. And for the first time in a while, I’m excited about continuing my writing expedition.

48 Comments

    • You can’t earn your MFA without reading Goethe, Jonathan. Get thee to a bookstore (or the Internet) right now. I tell ya, he’s written some good stuff.

      Thanks for the encouragement. You’re one of my chief inspirations.

    • You can’t earn your MFA without reading Goethe, Jonathan. Get thee to a bookstore (or the Internet) right now. I tell ya, he’s written some good stuff.

      Thanks for the encouragement. You’re one of my chief inspirations.

  1. It turns out that I do -not- remember reading that September post in re: Emily’s revision suggestions. I am so glad you posted that link back to the original post. What a fabulous match you have made, my dear. (You are a Trophy Friend, and I mean that in the nicest of ways. You are a prize and I am not letting go.) {}

    I am so thrilled to hear your revision process came easily. I cannot wait to hear your agent’s response to this pass on the mss. Is the book really ready for submissions? Oh my! Yes! Now you have my heart racing. I’m like a voodoo doll. I feel what YOU feel. {}

    It was a mad, hectic, frenetic week and I am so relieved it is over. Rutgers was a marvelous day. I will fill you in on the details when it is not 3:10 AM. {} (I am sitting here trying to catch up on a few days’ worth of LJ readings. I am wrapped in a purple blanket. Trust me: I am not looking Trophy Wife-ish at all. And since I am #1 for my husband, and I hope his only #, I am all the prize he is ever going to get. Ahem.) ;>

    I am so with you about the journey of writing. I love knowing this is what I do and this is what I am. {}

    I took a nap today, trying to fight my pounding headache. (Still have an ache as we speak, but not as pounding.) I had a very odd, intimate dream about… Keith Olbermann. Shh. Don’t tell anyone. ;>

    • Keith Olbermann, huh? He’s okay, but I’d probably pick Anderson Cooper. Then again, it’s your subconscious that gets to pick, not your active mind, or you might’ve gone with, say, George Clooney instead. (Same grey hair, really.)

    • Yep, Emily’s the perfect match for me and my book, in so many ways. Lucky me. And you too! I really treasure your friendship.

      Careful now…I’m not saying that my revision process was EASY. Notice that I used hard physical labor as analogy. I’m just saying that I finished some…and that I feel good about my accomplishments. I’m not yet at the actual finish line (read: ready to submit to publishers), but I met my goal for this week. That’s a giant step forward for me!

    • Yep, Emily’s the perfect match for me and my book, in so many ways. Lucky me. And you too! I really treasure your friendship.

      Careful now…I’m not saying that my revision process was EASY. Notice that I used hard physical labor as analogy. I’m just saying that I finished some…and that I feel good about my accomplishments. I’m not yet at the actual finish line (read: ready to submit to publishers), but I met my goal for this week. That’s a giant step forward for me!

  2. It turns out that I do -not- remember reading that September post in re: Emily’s revision suggestions. I am so glad you posted that link back to the original post. What a fabulous match you have made, my dear. (You are a Trophy Friend, and I mean that in the nicest of ways. You are a prize and I am not letting go.) {}

    I am so thrilled to hear your revision process came easily. I cannot wait to hear your agent’s response to this pass on the mss. Is the book really ready for submissions? Oh my! Yes! Now you have my heart racing. I’m like a voodoo doll. I feel what YOU feel. {}

    It was a mad, hectic, frenetic week and I am so relieved it is over. Rutgers was a marvelous day. I will fill you in on the details when it is not 3:10 AM. {} (I am sitting here trying to catch up on a few days’ worth of LJ readings. I am wrapped in a purple blanket. Trust me: I am not looking Trophy Wife-ish at all. And since I am #1 for my husband, and I hope his only #, I am all the prize he is ever going to get. Ahem.) ;>

    I am so with you about the journey of writing. I love knowing this is what I do and this is what I am. {}

    I took a nap today, trying to fight my pounding headache. (Still have an ache as we speak, but not as pounding.) I had a very odd, intimate dream about… Keith Olbermann. Shh. Don’t tell anyone. ;>

    • Oh, so there’s hope that they won’t always feel so daunting? I can’t wait! Thanks for the encouragement…it helps as I sit here working on my next set of revisions. πŸ™‚ OH, and sorry about the dΓ©glanguΓ©! Fun post, but I’m sure it’s much less enjoyable in the actuality!!!

    • Oh, so there’s hope that they won’t always feel so daunting? I can’t wait! Thanks for the encouragement…it helps as I sit here working on my next set of revisions. πŸ™‚ OH, and sorry about the dΓ©glanguΓ©! Fun post, but I’m sure it’s much less enjoyable in the actuality!!!

    • Use it ten times in a post/email and it’s yours. LOL

      Thanks for the cheerleading. I’m back at work this morning on my next installment. Each success will build my confidence, I think. Hoping Emily likes what I’ve done… (eek!)

    • Thanks for the encouragement! Do you feel nervous at all about meeting others’ expectations for revisions? If so, accomplished author, please teach me how you deal with it…I’m a very willing student.

      • Well, I haven’t gotten my official revision letter, but in general I like doing them–the frame work of the piece is already in place so adding or deleting is fun. That said I’ll probably get some massive revision letter that will have me quaking in my boots.

      • Well, I haven’t gotten my official revision letter, but in general I like doing them–the frame work of the piece is already in place so adding or deleting is fun. That said I’ll probably get some massive revision letter that will have me quaking in my boots.

    • Oh, you’re so right!!! It’s a blessing and a curse to have sent it off. Nail biting time. Good thing I have more revisions and deadlines to distract me!

      What do you do with your own fears (if any) about meeting others’ expectations for your revisions? I’m really interested to know other writers’ experiences with this!

  3. Good for you! Making changes to something you love is hard, but the pride that you feel when it’s polished and working well will override any concerns you had. Forge on!

    • Thanks! I’m ready to start my new section this morning. For me, it’s not so much an attachment to current manuscript as it is the need to release myself from the fears my new efforts won’t be acceptable. Does that make sense? How do you handle those worries?

  4. Congrats Melodye!

    Oh the submission process. I think I’m addicted (to the subbing agents part, not publishers like you – lucky girl). But with my current schedule of trying to finish draft one of one book and then nanowrimo next month, it doesn’t look like I’ll be subbing anything for a while.

  5. Congrats Melodye!

    Oh the submission process. I think I’m addicted (to the subbing agents part, not publishers like you – lucky girl). But with my current schedule of trying to finish draft one of one book and then nanowrimo next month, it doesn’t look like I’ll be subbing anything for a while.

  6. Anonymous

    Emily Saladino

    Can anyone say a little about what books Emily Saladino is representing?
    I’m meeting with her next week at the NC writers conference.

    Thanks.

    • Re: Emily Saladino

      You might try her website at Publishers Marketplace or AgentQuery.com. She’s listed both places.

      She’s representing my nonfiction book, SECRET LIVES OF TROPHY WIVES. She’s a fabulous agent in every way. Tell her hello for me (Melodye), OK?

Leave a Reply to jonstephens Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *