Here’s a new frustration. As I begin querying and entering contests, I submit what I think is a polished draft. Then I take a class or attend a lecture and learn something new.
And when I come back to the manuscript with this new knowledge, I think it’s a piece of crap.
And I already submitted it to an agent and/or a contest.
Shit. So they are looking at what was my best work up until that date.
But then I overhaul the manuscript and make it tighter, clearer, crisper, and cleaner.
Well go me. I have a better manuscript to shop around, but I already sent out the last version.
At least when that gets rejected I can say it’s the old version and not the new version. Cold comfort.
Now I could hold off on sending out the manuscript until I know it’s perfect. But I don’t know when that day will arrive.
So I query the best of what I have. And keep working. Revising. Polishing.
But it’s frustrating because when I get contest feedback it’s on a version from 2-6 months ago.
I know you’re thinking wait until you do revisions before sending it out. I did. I did multiple revisions. I was content with it. Didn’t touch it for several months. Didn’t think I needed to.
But then you get some feedback and you start tweaking. Then you (gasp) grow as a writer and have to bring the entire manuscript along with you.
These are all good experiences. But they sure do make everything more frustrating.
How do you deal with your manuscript evolving with your writing skills? How many times did you think you were done only to learn something and start another round of revisions?