If I write it, will they read it?
I’m a child of the 60s. The big thing people used to talk about was, “If I write it, they will read it”. Is that still the case?
As an editor and publisher, I receive queries and submissions from writers at various levels of their careers. Some have abilities that make you cry (for a good reason), while others just make you cry. Part of my job is to find those writers whose work is beyond polished and exceptional. But there are exceptions to those rules.
Melissa Grunow, the author of Realizing River City, came out of our vetting process with a not-so-high rating. Did I decide to take my test reader’s word for it? No, I took the time to look at the work and get to know her. People wondered why I did that. The simple answer is, I don’t know. Something told me to take a second look at what she submitted. So I did.
I worked closely with Melissa, going over the structure of her work and the style she used. We signed a contract, started edits, rewrote, edited again, and finally published the work. In one of the last emails, Melissa asked me a simple question: “Is it okay that I am really starting to hate my book?” My answer must have surprised her, for I told her she was a real author now.
Melissa commented that the finished product, after all the rewrites and editing, is a substantially better book than the one she submitted. In part, I take a little of the praise, but most of it falls on her for following editing instructions and rewrite suggestions. She did a wonderful job with the manuscript. It is no wonder the work received two awards from the Independent Authors’ Network: Best Non-Fiction for 2016 and runner-up for Book of the Year 2016.
My hat is off to Melissa for sticking with the demands of the editorial staff at DAOwen Publications, for without her pure desire to have the best book she could ever write, the memoir would not have received the praise it now has. Even now, you can see the reviews on GoodReads ranking it as 4.5 out of 5 stars.
If I write it, they will read it
What we, as writers and authors, need to take out of Melissa’s story, is that we all have the ability to write something great. Remember that the words written while sitting in front of the keyboard are the first draft, and with rewriting, it becomes the solid and polished work we all admire.
But what about those who do not have the ability to edit their work after it is completed? Are their manuscripts destined for the slush pile never to be read? The truth is no, they are worthy of being read, but maybe not published. The problem is, if you do not reread your work, take the time to remove the unnecessary, push yourself to correct and learn, then you will never be a true author. Perfection comes from persistence. We need to push ourselves to make the written work something everyone wants to read. Increase our knowledge and become better at our craft.