When to Submit Your Work

Question: When do you know if you are really ready to submit your work to an industry professional for consideration?

A writer knows that they are really ready to send their work on for consideration to an industry professional when they have removed all of the “oh, and I plan to fix that” or “wait, see I am going to change this” moments from their manuscripts. If you feel like you still need to “do this” or “tend to that” then you are not yet ready.

And the itch of impatience which is driving you to want to show your work to someone (and get accepted, lauded, praised, showered with seven-figure advances and so on) is also the itch that might very well drive your manuscript’s car right off the cliff of being well-embraced..

Don’t rush what isn’t ready.

Do ALL the work and get the book to the point where you really don’t feel as if you need to or can do one more inch. (Note: That doesn’t mean write the whole book. Lots of agents and publishers will buy proposals that only have a few chapters already completed. This means do all the work necessary to make whatever work you are submitting a total A+.)

Keep in mind that you are inevitably going to find things that need addressing anyway. (Writing is re-writing, right?) But at least this way, the feedback will take place in the realm of, “Oh really… hmmm. Good point. I hadn’t considered that.” Or “Wow, that was a blind spot to me, I totally thought I covered that.”

Every conversation once the book is in “really ready form” is thus productive and helpful.

Of course it’s a fine line because one can end up in the weeds, re-writing and re-writing without ever actually taking the next step but there’s a difference between impatient and being a neurotic perfectionist. Your therapist can help you with that one. Best advice: listen to your heart. Once it’s ready you’ll know it. And when it’s not, you’ll know that too.