Saturday, February 7, 2009


An editor requested to see a full manuscript based on a partial that I submitted a few weeks ago.


The dilemma is not that I have some revisions to accomplish this weekend before I can send along the entire thing - the problem I'm facing is that the more I read this particular manuscript, the less I like it. And the less I like it, the less I want to be associated with it.

It is a novel that I worked on years ago, something I typed away at in my office when I should have been working at my first "real" job after college. It was written before I went through the MFA process or had my children, or my first publication. It's old. And I feel less and less like I want to be connected to it.

So, why did I submit it anywhere, if I wasn't sure if I even want it to be published?

I actually don't know. A whim? A late night trip to Duotrope gone wrong? Curiosity?

The novel I have in process now, I think might actually be good. I'm excited about, I'm proud of. All of which is rare, for me. Normally, I can't even approach my work without a critical lens.

So, today, while my parents have so generously come to take away my children so that I can work on the revisions to the older manuscript, I keep finding myself drawn to work on the new one.

Do I force myself to dumb down and revise what's workable in the old manuscript, for the sake of submitting it to the editor? (Because in order to bring the manuscript up to the level that I am capable now, would take weeks, not days.)

Or do I let it be, work on what I'm truly inspired to work on, and send the editor a nice note to let them know that I may have changed my mind?


Margosita said...

It might be worth it to "dumb down" and work on the older manuscript. Just for this weekend. If that novel isn't where your energy is, then it is probably not worth spending the weeks it would take for you to feel like you've improved it to your current standards. But if you give it a weekend and then give it to the editor, you still leave that choice open. You also establish a relationship with the editor, which is what I think is more valuable. So even if you the editor doesn't want to publish it, ultimately, or you don't want it to be published, you have at least set up a relationship with someone who might be interested to read the current novel you are excited about.

Eileen Wiedbrauk said...

I wouldn't give up on it. Not right now.