How To Know When To Query

When should a writer begin querying a book? Surely after completing the writing and editing, the next course of action is sending the book to agents and editors, right?

I won't be the Scrooge of the writing world and say "No, you shouldn't automatically query each book." But I will utter a proclamation of caution, "Don't rush the process."

When I first started my adult writing career fifteen years ago, like most beginners, I was clueless about querying. Fortunately, I was wise enough to realize my first couple of books were "practice" books and definitely not ready to send out.

And also, fortunately for me, my mother was a writer and had shelves of writing craft books. Every time I visited her, I devoured her books and filled note cards with advice on how to become a better writer.

After I finished my third book, I thought for sure I was ready to query. I'd put into practice the skills I was learning, had read widely of the market I was targeting, and was gaining confidence.

But books three and four gave me my first experience with rejection letters. And rightly so. When I read now what I wrote then, I quickly realize I was NOT ready to query. Even though I had improved, I still had a long way to go.

I continued to read craft books and wrote book number five. When I finished, I had the intuitive sense that I'd crafted unique characters, a moving plot, and was finally implementing most of the craft techniques I'd studied. I sent it out with high hopes.

You can imagine my excitement, when after five years, and five books, I finally got a call from an editor. She told me she liked my book and asked me to make some changes. The short version of the story is that after making the rewrites, they didn't accept the book. Not long after the rejection, I gave birth to twins and took a seven year writing hiatus.

When I started writing again a few years ago, I reviewed my writing note cards, read the latest craft books, and this time had a whole new world of internet resources at my beck and call. When I finished writing The Preacher's Bride, I spent several months editing it.

Then I ran onto the querying playing field and joined the free-for-all tackle to grab an agent. I was slammed to the ground by plenty of rejections before one agent (Rachelle) asked to see the full. But even with that one sliver of hope, my manuscript seemed doomed to sit in her slush pile forever.

As most of you know, my Genesis contest final propelled my manuscript of out the slush pile. And after months of waiting, I finally teamed-up with Rachelle Gardner and the rest is history--she sold my book to Bethany House, got me a three book deal, and now The Preacher's Bride is releasing next fall.

In hindsight, I realize I queried The Preacher’s Bride too quickly, just as I had earlier manuscripts. I rushed into it before my manuscript was the absolute best it could be. During the months it sat in Rachelle’s slush pile, I decided to enter it into a contest. As a result, I ended up improving my opening and my book in a number of ways. When Rachelle finally read my manuscript, it was the new, better version.

What did I learn from all my querying?

1. We’re too subjective: Writers have an unrealistic view of their own work. It’s nearly impossible for us to read what we write objectively and know if it's good enough to query.

2. We’re too impatient: We’re so relieved and excited when we finish a manuscript that we become overzealous in our efforts to get it published and share it with others.

3. We’re too naive: Many of us query before we know enough about the publishing industry and how it works. The process of querying can educate us on the harsh realities, but why not learn as much as possible before starting?

So, how does a writer know when to begin querying? Unfortunately, there is no magic formula. Some writers might be ready after one book, and others like me, might struggle with their sixth.

There are ways to prepare ourselves so that our querying process is successful (more about that in the next post.) For today, I leave you with this piece of advice: As hard as it may be, slow down. We may only get one chance to make a good first impression and we don’t want to lose it.

What about you? Did you ever query before you were ready? What was the result?


  1. Jody, great post. As you know this post and your next one are particularly meaningful to me. I am reading and learning from you. Thank you, thank you.

    As I jump into the water, I will have my life jacket on. (A story that is the BEST it can be.) I really appreciate your help on my journey Jody. Happy New Year. :0)

  2. Missed you Jody! And I love the look you've created- absolutely beautiful! Pilgrims Progress is one of my favorite classics, and I love that as your theme.

    I've thought a lot about querying, especially when family pressiures me about when I will be finished. Their finished and my finished are two different things. I love all the projects that are floating around in my head, but I want to write several books before I query. It will be the practice I need and the drive to know that I can stand in this business.

    I look forward to what you will share next!

  3. First - I LOVE LOVE LOVE your new blog look. So professional and pleasing to the eye! Well done!

    Second - THIS is why I missed your blog so much. Where did you get so wise, chica?

    Third - YES. I queried much to early. Right after I finished my first book. Learned my lesson. Stopped querying for two years. Learned as much as I could and wrote two more books. Then did the whole query thing again. Ended up with a lot better results the second time around. :)

  4. Oh, I definitely jumped in too early, and was very disappointed!

    I'm taking my time this time. I want to learn more and write more before I jump in. I definitely plan to enter contests, develop more as a writer before making huge leaps.

    Having said that, sometimes we have to make that leap and take risks. I'm also one to be too careful of stepping out of the comfort zone.

    I love the new blog look and your picture. Is that new as well?

  5. I totally queried too early.

    But the first fumbling attempts were good for me though. I call them "practice" runs where I found what was utterly stupid of me to do and the things that kinda worked.

    But... I'm also querying my first completed novel (I did have a bumbling attempt that I never finished) and I keep hearing everyone say, "You're first few novels are practice" but I LIKE my first one... So I edit and edit and edit, hoping to defy the "norm."

  6. Yup, I need someone like you sitting on my shoulder all the time saying "Slow down." This doesn't pertain to writing only...

  7. I'm sure every writer has a "I queried too early" story. I know I did. I've learned a lot since that first query ~shudder~, but I still have a long way to go.

    Writers should never stop learning. I'm taking my time with the final edits on my current book so when I send the full to the agent who requested it, she will read the very best I have to offer.

    Great post, Jody. Thanks so much for sharing your insights into the publishing biz. :-)

  8. I think I fall on the opposite end of the spectrum where I'm afraid to query too soon. When I first started writing, God led me to just the right resources that warned about this very thing. At some point, I'll need to buck up my courage and just send the crazy things (maybe some time this year?), but for now I'm in waiting and learning mode. :-)

  9. Excellent post!! I am so guilty of rushing in and have finally realized my first few books are good practice and I need to keep reading more craft books. I want to be prouder of the book I send out rather than doing it in a rush. Thanks for this affirmation.

  10. Of course I queried too early. Despite rumors that I leap tall buildings in a single bound, I'm human. And the result was rejection--multiple rejections.
    I've been told by more than editor that it takes at least three books before a writer begins to "get it." That's not something you do after one writer's conference and scanning a couple of books. But patience is not a common tool in the novice writer's tool chest.
    Thanks for this advice--advice that's hard to hear, but is still something that bears repeating.

  11. Jody,

    Missed you!

    Love the new look!

    I identified with improving what was sitting in Rachelle's slush pile. My first fiction manuscript (I had one completed nonfiction already) received a full request from a publisher and I sent it. That was six months ago. Though I've moved on to other projects, I still tweak the first one and make notes on how it might be improved. A tweaked version just placed in an ACFW contest. My hope has grown since then.

  12. I wrote my first complete book while on the mission field in Uganda. Had no idea about craft, just knew what I liked in a story. When I got back to the States I got my Christian Writer's Market Guide and started querying. In retrospect, the agents I heard back from were extremely kind in their rejections.

    It took a long time before I really thought I was ready to query again. Now I'm holding my breath and hoping any day for an answer. And I'm still writing. I've still got so much more to learn.

  13. Oh I love the new blog Jody! It's beautiful!!!

    And I can honestly say that I don't feel like I queried too soon. Because if I hadn't queried that soon I would not have learned what I did about publishing and queries and my writing. I may never sell my first book, but I still love it and I am happy I was able to learn from it.

    I am however super leery to query my second book until I feel like it is perfect. I like this book WAY too much to let it sit in slush piles!!!

  14. Did I? Oh yes. I began querying editors in the mid 1990s (ages ago, right?), with a fantasy novel I was so excited to have completed. I had some very encouraging feedback, except for one problem. My manuscript was too long (by about 300,000 words). I still shake my head when I look back on 20-something me, who blithely presumed a thing like word count limits didn't exist.

    Looking back on grade school me, who would turn in a six page report when a three page report was asked for, I think I'm hard-wired to write works twice the length they should be. At least now I grasp the need for ruthless editing.

    Slow Down is great advice Jody.

  15. Love the new blog design!

    Since I haven't done any queries because I write short stories, I can't comment on what you wrote, but I do learn a lot from your posts and pass the info and your blog along to other writers who are in the throes of writing novels.

  16. Great Post.

    In answer to your question . . . yes and no.

    I did query a few agents about a year ago, received rejections, and then took a good look at my manuscript. I did some more edits and plan on beginning the query process in February.

    Now, I didn't query the first, second, or third novel I wrote. Heck, I don't know how many novels I wrote before I finally had confidence in my self and my writing to even begin thinking about querying. I finally 'knew' with one novel that this was the one that I needed to query. I still have that driving faith in that manuscript.

    Now, I agonize over creating the perfect (well, semi-perfect) query letter that will capture an agents attention and make them request a full! Oh, and a synopsis as well. Sigh!


  17. Yeah. *hangs head* I did query before I was ready. But I think that's part of the learning process, too, because it's another layer in the fabric.

    You're an inspiration, Jody, even more now than before, since you've shared the details of your journey. You are a true example of patience and persistence.

  18. Wonderful advice. Thank you so much. The first book I sold was the sixth I wrote, but I had to finished eighteen stories before I sold it. It was defintitely a long, slow process.

  19. Great advice, thanks so much! Will need this soon:)

  20. oh, heavens yes - but I kept writing and it was a subsequent book that eventually brought me to that next step. critique groups and good betas help in this process too.

  21. So many things to comment on...wait where am I? Looking good. I like the new pose by the tree and I would be completely okay if you decided to post a picture of you and I. No problems here with that. (Oh, wait we don't have a picture of us? :)

    Feelin' punchy. I took a 10 year hiatus called breastfeeding.

    This is very insightful. I dared myself to send out a handful of queries and was grateful/surprised to get a bite. I see how I've improved tremendously since and now I fear I'll want to edit until I'm blue in the face. For me, I believe the help of critique partners will give me a better gauge. I had cold readers before. Critique partners are more on top of the craft.

    Great post. I could keep writing b/c I missed connecting w/ you, but I'll stop now.

    Or now.

    Or maybe now. I told you I was punchy.
    ~ Wendy

  22. I did query before I was ready. Luckily it wasn't to too many agents. I took a break, got some more opinions and information.

    It's hard to know when but sometimes you just have to do it.

  23. Your blog looks lovely! This post gave me a whole new outlook on writing and the publishing world.

    Thanks for sharing you knowledge!

  24. Yes, Jody! I did that last year. My book wasn't ready, but I had no way of knowing that until I queried, got rejected, and started researching more (found out about blogs, books on craft, etc). I'm hoping that first impression won't cripple my book when give it a second shot. Needless to say, I'm going to go slow with the next one!

    Love your new look!

  25. I love the new look of your blog.

    Like most of us, I queried too early. I'm hoping to come out of my mistake a wiser, better writer. thanks for these posts - they are important and meaningful to all of us. :-)

  26. Words of wisdom, Jody. The longer I'm a writer, the more I understand not to rush the process.

    Your writing journey has certainly been a long one, but God used it to prepare you for the success you're now enjoying.

    Oh, and Happy New Year! :)

  27. I almost made that mistake, but then took some online courses and joined a crit group who soon put me in my place. LOL My writing is read now, I just need to finish the book. LOL

    Lynnette Labelle

  28. I haven’t queried yet. I’m not sure why not. I’m at the point I believe it’s tight but I haven’t queried it yet. Perhaps it is because like you wrote rushing it isn’t necessarily the best. I set it aside. I’ll go though it again and pass it around before I go further.

  29. Ditto on the comments about the new look. Very clean and professional looking. Kudos.

    As to querying too soon, I guess that's one time that the fear of rejection and rampant perfectionism are good things. LOL. I guess I did my first queries (with my fiction) in person at the ACFW Conference and learned what to fix. Now I'm still polishing (again) before I'll be brave enough to put those queries into circulation.

    That's my main goal for this year (besides writing another novel). Get my writing out there. It's about time.

  30. I am definitely NOT at the query point yet. I've got a lot of learning to do before I start sending out queries!

  31. Such a marvelous post. I have been at the "about to query" stage of my current book at least three times now. I just finished my fourth round of editing over the New Year's holiday but there's still something gnawing at me. Something about the language I don't like. My main character still seems too stiff and "goody goody" at the beginning. Ugh. Edit round number 5? It looks like it.

    Happy Monday,

  32. I meant to also say I love the new look of your blog! The colors, the design. And your photo. All are great, clean, and very inviting. :)


  33. Love the photo and the new look!

    I did start querying early, but I think it was an important part of the process for me. I learned by trying and trying again. My work improved with suggestions along the way.

  34. Love this post. Most of us are in this position. It's so easy now to shoot off an email unlike the snail mail days. I can query while eating a bag of chips and it all feels so casual. I need to focus more on creating a good first impression. Thanks for the timely reminder! Love your picture, you're so beautiful!

  35. Hey, girl! Good to be with you again. :)

    I had no idea your journey to publication was so long and arduous. That's so encouraging and inspiring that you kept persevering!

    Patience is one of the hardest parts of the writing/publication process for me. I'm slowly learning that the ideal timeline I have in my head is just not reality.

    Happy New Year!!

    p.s. Went to the library Saturday (right before I got sick) and got stacks and stacks of writing books. I clapped my hands all the way to the self check-out and in my mini-van and at home. My girls think I'm a loon.

  36. But of course. I had no idea what I was doing. Still wonder sometimes.

    This is why we need to totally rely on God's leading. If we follow our own peabrains and the other sheep, we fall in a ditch. Ask me how I know...

    Welcome back, dear!

  37. Patrice KavanaughJanuary 04, 2010 12:26 PM

    I am in "slow down" mode around querying right now. Instead of querying, I'm working on edits suggested by a PROFESSIONAL freelance book editor. I know these edits are raising the level of my manuscript AND teaching me about better writing. I get impatient, at times, to finish these edits and get back to the querying...I want the feeling of hope and potential that having active queries out there gives me. So, it's good to be reminded that patience is a virtue in many areas of life..including the writing life. Patrice

  38. Um, yeah I queried before I was ready! But, I can't say I'd change anything. It's all a learning process, and you don't know if you're ready until you get that stream of rejections flowing in.

    I agree with you in that the key is to keep writing, keep learning, keep moving forward. When the momentum is right and the stars are properly aligned, your turn will come. I couldn't be happier with my agent, and I'm glad it was my fourth and fifth books that caught her eye. My earlier work wasn't "there" yet. However, I would not have gotten to the polished results of my later works without the earlier ones.

    To everyone considering the query process - heed Jody's words: slow down! Take your time. Write the best book you can. It WILL happen. ;-)

  39. The new look is fab! And this is a terrific post. Great advice. I definitely queried too early when I sent my first novel out there. Patience has never been my favorite virtue and I paid for it.

    I wrote a post a while back giving the opinion that you should finish your second book before querying the first. (It was not a very popular opinion based on comments, lol.) But I stand by my opinion. After finishing the second, you can look back at the first one with a lot more objectivity.

  40. This comment has been removed by the author.

  41. Jody, I've missed you!!!

    Have I queried too early? Ooooh, I'm so embarrassed to say, yes. Back in my naive days, the first few years of writing I did send out to a few agents who rightfully set me in my place. I prefer to think of that stupid phase as my one freeby that I so want to forget.

  42. Jody,

    Timely piece as I'm looking for a query target today. I liked your comments about your first books being not-ready-for-prime-time. When I finished my first novel, "The REal World" (oh how it pains me to write this), I didn't look for an agent, but went straight to a publisher. Not just to an editor, but to William Jovanovich of HBJ. Two days later his secretary called to say Mr. Jovanovich was very interested in my book. I shipped it off, convinced I was on my way. A month or so later, I received Mr. Jovanovich's reply: "Dear Mr. Goodell, four editors, including myself, have read your manuscript, and frankly, it is not well written."

    The letter was read to me over the phone by a friend who was housesitting while my wife and I were on our honeymoon . . .

  43. You're so right. I know that I've queried far too quickly in the past. When the opportunity came for me to send the actual ms, it wasn't good enough.

    Thanks for your tips.

  44. "Slow down" is good advice. I've definitely queried before I was ready and while it was an experience I feel I needed to go through, it's better to learn as much as you can about the craft before you jump into trying to get published.

  45. Patience and determination seem to be a key factor in publishing. Thanks for the insight Jody! I'm looking forward to October when you book is released! :)

  46. This is a great post, Jody! I definitely think we query too soon. I also agree that we're naive and unable to be subjective with our writing. In a sense though, I also think "ready" is subjective, only because reading is.
    Sometimes I think we have to jump in and see what happens because otherwise we'll be playing with the same manuscript forever. Okay. LOL Maybe not you and others, but I would. *snort*

    Wonderful post!

  47. I had no idea it was such a long road for you! That makes you story that much better. Way to persevere!

    I've only queried one book (my MG), but I queried it twice and it was too early the first time. I think I was just so anxious to get it out there and see if anyone liked the idea or offered good feedback. I actually got some great revision notes off my first round of queries so that was really helpful, but I think if I'd had a critique group I could have arrived at the same conclusions (without the rejection). I'm definitely going to have a lot more people read this manuscript before I pass it on to my agent.

  48. Did you wake up January 1st and giddily think, THIS is the year my novel WILL be published??

    So exciting!

    I have never queried anything. I've never finished anything to a point that I felt it was ready. But I set a goal to query my current novel this year. Which means I need to get it in gear and finish the thing!

    But, while I do plan to push myself, I'm also going to be careful not to query before it's really ready.

  49. Thanks for sharing your personal journey to publication. I definitely queried too early, and I think the "how will I know when it's done?" question is difficult. But your lessons learned definitely hit home for me.

  50. Hi Jody -

    Your new blog reflects your growing confidence and career. :)

    I remember bringing my first manuscript to a conference, all 55,000 words. The editors shook their heads and informed me I needed 80-100,000 words.

    The learning curve for a writer is a steep one.

    Susan :)

  51. I envision my life as a non-writer, and it seems so easy and fun. I'd teach junior college, have gourmet lunches with my friends, and spend my nights enjoying books without analyzing them.

    As I read your post, I'm reminded that writing is usually not a choice; it is a calling.

    I think we writers must have some kind of love/hate relationship with rejection.

    I can honestly say that I have no idea what I'm doing most of the time. I suspect that God likes it that way....

  52. Wow, your blog is really pretty! The new look reminds me of spring and puts a big smile on my face. Nice!

    Querying too early taught me how to deal with rejection and that I needed to work on my craft. I have no regrets!

  53. Jody! I wish I could have been the first to say it but I was doing a radio gig this morning. But I have to say, beautiful blog! The look is so very pleasing. The other one was nice too, but this is a happy blending of the pre-pub and post-pub Jody. Love it! Thanks, as always, for your wise words. What jumps out at me here is that your mother is a writer. I'd love to hear more. My father is the writer in our family, and my sister and I definitely inherited his admiration for words. It's cool to hear you had a similar influence in your life -- I guess it's not at all surprising. Also, it's always inspiring to hear of your uphill journey that has turned into a successful adventure. Thanks as always. (By the way, hope you'll come by my blog this week. I'm doing official reader introductions and would love to have your voice added to the bunch.) Like many have said, glad you're back, but also glad you took that well-deserved break. Roxane

  54. Excellent post as usual and quite timely for me.

    I can't wait to query but a good friend (who is an agented writer) told me not to query until I felt my writing was the best it could be. One chance is all I will get with most agents, he reminded me.

    Good advice because I have already improved my manuscript and am not finished. I know it can be better. I hate to think that I would have hastily sent out lesser work surely blowing my chanses of getting an agent.

    Love the new blog background and your photos.

  55. Love the new look.

    I came to this realization last year, even before finishing the book. My current wip is a practice book. I just hope I don't use all my best ideas on practice.

    Still, knowing when you've moved beyond the practice arena and when you're ready to query a particular book seem as though they might be two different things. You were ready for the big time of querying but your book still wasn't your best. Perhaps the only way to get it to be your best was by putting it out there, whether by contest or agent submission.

  56. I sure did query before I was ready...The result? Plenty of rejections.

    I think entering some writing contests and joining a critique group were finally what got me ready to sell a ms or two.

    Love the new blog look.

  57. Love your blog makeover! I am pro-green. Like your pictures you added too. :O)

  58. Thought-provoking post! What I like about this site is your wheels are always churning, processing, then compartmentalizing information!

    Such a great resource!!

  59. Another great post. I just finished the first draft of my novel and am on revisions. You've made me think and most likely slow down on querying.

    I'm curious - what writing books have you read and thought were good?

  60. I'm not convinced that I did query too soon. It wasn't my first book. I had finalled in two significant contests, attended a conference and read piles of books. The four queries still resulted in rejections but they were after partials and fulls had been requested and were personal, encouraging ones. At that point I had an opportunity to get input from a professional editor and that's when I realized how much more I could and should do with my stories before further querying.

    If I knew at the beginning what I know now I would have done things differently. But I don't believe my earliest attempts were necessarily mistakes, just learning experiences and opportunities for growth. Some days I don't think I'm ever going to move past the learning process, though! :)

  61. Oh, and I meant to say how much I like your blog's new look, Jody! It's so attractive -- fresh and very "you".

  62. Carolyn,
    My favorite writing craft books are the ones I've read by James Scott Bell. I'm currently reading The Art Of War For Writers (see the link in my side bar). But, even though it's excellent, it's not as comprehensive as his Plot & Structure or his Revision & Self-Editing. These two are must-haves for a writer's library.

    The other book that I liked was Donald Maass's Writing the Breakout Novel WORKBOOK. It's an excellent tool.

    Hope that helps!

  63. No, I haven't queried yet.. not quite ready with my manuscript. I'll wait. Course, it still probably won't be long enough.

    Great post. Very insightful to me.

    cheers :)

  64. As a short story writer, I query all the time in order to have stories in circulation. Several of those stories were sent before they were ready. In an ideal world, I would send to one or two lit mags on my "A" list. Then, if I received rejections from both of those, I would send to by "B" list. I have a "C" list, but I should never send to those before reworking my story.

    In Sarah's realistic world, I write until I think "that sounds like it would be good for journal X". I also review several other lit journals I really appreciate and send to those as well. I keep sending (and sometimes reworking) the story until it gets accepted. Not all of my stories have been accepted, but several have.

    I think it's different as a short story writer than a novelist--not that it's easier for either, just different. Further, I am a language writer, so I really don't think about plot as I am writing. That helps, too.

  65. I am so very far from the point of querying. But I'm book marking this post just to read it some distant day down the line.
    Thank you for this post.

    I think too many writers rush the process. Entirely.

    I personally know a brilliant writer who haphazardly mailed off what she thought was a stunning manuscript to an agent. She learned a lot in the process, but that's one experience I hope I don't have.

  66. Good thoughts, Jody. Time-tested wisdom. Love your honesty.

  67. Querying too soon?

    Been there. Done that.

    Two years ago I sent my work out, received a request for a full followed by a request for a revision. I revised and was promptly rejected, which I deserved to be. I was a newbie writer, and it showed.

    This time around I did things differently. I took two years to learn craft and rewrite one of my five stories. Cutting two-thirds of my story and starting over wasn't easy, but it was necessary.

    Once I had a story I felt good about, I went the contest route. I entered a number of respected contests prepared to get feedback and see if I'd learned anything. Looks like I made some progress because exciting things have been happening, all of which are the stuff dreams are made of. I still have a lot to learn and much to do, but I'm excited about the prospects.

    Thanks for the reminder not to query too soon. Wise counsel, Jody. But then, yours always is. :-)

  68. As you know, I definitely queried before I was ready. I'm not sure when I'll be ready to try again, but I think I'll know. In a way, querying too soon was a great lesson for me. I don't know that I would have worked as hard as I have since to improve my writing, if I hadn't failed. Does that make sense?

  69. This is such a helpful post. It turns out that I did query before I was ready, but it's also true that I needed to do the querying to figure that out. So I have a complete rewrite of my memoir in front of me and a surer knowledge of what I need to do to attract an agent's attention.

  70. I am nowhere near ready to query! But I feel the constant nudge to learn more about it. :) As always, your post is EXCELLENT and great advice for a newbie like me.

    I didn't know your mother was a writer! Has she critiqued your work before?

  71. Hey Sherrinda,

    My mother is not actively pursuing writing any more. But she is very talented and very insightful. She did read The Preacher's Bride in it's first form (before all of the changes I've made over the past year.) And she offered some great feedback. But she was too nice on me. I needed brutual, line by line hacking and chopping, and she didn't want to hurt our relationship by doing that. That's when I decided to hire an editor!

  72. I think it's different as a short story writer than a novelist--not that it's easier for either, just different. Further, I am a language writer, so I really don't think about plot as I am writing. That helps, too.

    Work from home India

  73. The very first Bible study I wrote took me a good year to write. I did not make any attempts to have it published. Instead, I offered it out for others to teach for free. I also taught it myself at my local church at that time. Both gave me opportunities to get feedback and continue editing and revising. Now a couple of years later, I'm so glad I didn't attempt to have it published back then. As I've grown as a writer, I could see quite a few things that needed to be worked on in the original manuscript. I've made revisions and changed the format and it's so much better than it was. There's much wisdom in what you wrote. Waiting definitely has benefits.

  74. Jody, this post is so timely! I rushed myself and my manuscript and even did a pre-launch to family and a few close friends and realized how much it stunk after that. The structure still needs more work and there was editing gaps even with a professional editor. I was all zapped and fragile lately and now am picking myself up again to revise the manuscript and have some extra help in those gap areas. (definitely more eyes!) you are so right in saying that we rush and we're naive and impatient. I admit it, I had to learn the hard way and am still healing.. thank you for your straightforwardness here though because it still feels protective and inviting. I really needed to read this today for encouragement and a stronger writer's backbone to go back to the script and do it again in a refreshing way! xx Jenn


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