Blogger: Mary Keeley
An email a few days ago explained the alert beeping in the back of my mind that I’ve been dismissing since the holidays. We all have these nigglings from time to time that hint something is awry. When it comes to writing, it’s important to heed your inner author nagging.
I have learned not to ignore these subtle warnings, but you know how it is. When I think I need to keep plowing through to complete daily business or reach a goal, those subtle naggings are deemed interruptions to progress. Likewise, it can be tempting for authors to brush aside an inkling that something isn’t coming together well, choosing instead to continue plowing ahead on the same course. Why is this? Perhaps the author fears he or she will see a major problem, and the overwhelming thought of time and work lost drives the author to forge on. Or maybe the temptation to ignore inner nagging is fueled by a desire to avoid recognizing that the manuscript isn’t saleable in the current market and should be put aside. And maybe a little stubbornness is at play too.
Skip Prichard addresses this topic in a post on his blog for leaders. He poses some examples from within the business world, but the anecdotes offer compelling insights for writers too. You can read the entire post here.
In my recent occurrence, the email was reminding me I hadn’t yet provided topics for the workshops I’ll be teaching at a writers conference in May. The email was my thundering alert. I sent those topics right away to avoid causing the conference director further inconvenience. But authors don’t always have the benefit of external warnings. You’re better off heeding those flickers of uneasiness before you take your critique group’s time or pay more for your editor to help you fix problems throughout the whole manuscript later, at which time you will lose both money and time. Authors who are working against a contracted manuscript deadline would do well to be extra-sensitive to their inner-editor flashes early on until the manuscript if complete.
When you sense something isn’t coming together in your current work—and those times will occur—treat them as inner-editor blessings. Your attention to them at draft stage actually could save time, money, your manuscript, even your author reputation and success in the long term.
How sensitive are you to nagging thoughts in the back of your mind as you concept and write your book? Tell us your success story when you gave attention to your inner author nagging and how your book was much better for having done so.
Pay attention to your inner author nagging. It could save time, money, and even your author reputation. Click to Tweet.
Plowing ahead is not always best when your book isn’t coming together smoothly. Here are insights. Click to Tweet.