You have an idea for a new book. You may even have a solid draft ready to submit to an agent or an editor. But you hesitate. Is your book idea good enough to withstand the trials of publishing?
If you have put a great deal of heart and more than one long night into your book—if you have passion for what you are writing—it’s worth crossing your fingers and sending it out to someone who can help you publish.
In case you have doubts as to whether your book idea is worth pursuing, these telltale signs may be just the encouragement you need to take the next step:
1. Uncontrollable Thoughts
Your book—whatever stage it is in—is always on your mind. Thoughts of plot, character motives, and inspiring dialogue keep you up at night and perhaps hijack your dreams. Your book is an obsession that fills your free time and distracts you from other areas of your life. All other hobbies and minor commitments take a backseat. You may even give up Friday night plans to stay in to have some time with your laptop. You’ve been thinking about it forever, and it’s motivated you to write.
2. Constant ideas to note down
You’re ready for ideas to strike at any point in the day. You are driven to a computer, notepad, or napkin to write ideas down before you forget them. It’s probably hard to keep track of your numerous sparks of inspirations, between digital notes on your laptop, scratch paper in your pockets, and rapidly filling notebook.
3. Unavoidable Rambling
Since that first spark of inspiration became something tangible, significant others, buddies from work and siblings across the state act as sounding boards, therapists encouraging you back to the drawing board, and buffers through all those aggravating moments of writers block. They probably know your book just about as well as you do—down to the brand of peanut butter in your protagonist’s cupboard.
4. Endless rewriting
You’re neck deep and committed to writing a full manuscript. Life becomes a seemingly endless routine of rewriting, reorganizing, and forever backspacing. Multiple drafts are written and discarded; yet you stay focused on the end-goal. You also transform into a scrupulous editor, an ingenious problem solver, and your biggest critic. The pride you are experiencing from your writing grows more everyday.
5. Hesitant Sharing
You, perhaps hesitantly, give it to your friends and family to read—and they love it! (Of course, they may encourage you to pursue your book regardless of its level of quality at this stage in the game). But their support is the encouragement you need to share it to more people (of the less-biased variety). They tell you your book idea will touch hearts, influence minds, and inspire others, and you believe them.
6. Unbiased Feedback
You give it to unbiased acquaintances—and they like it! You receive encouragement from quasi-friends (a.k.a. anyone not your mom, best friend, or spouse) after you’ve asked them for brutal honesty. More importantly, you actually handle hearing negative feedback and constructive criticism with maturity and an open mind (at least to their face). You handle a “no, thank you” at this stage in the game. You’re ready for the sometimes-harsh realities of the professional literary world.
7. Unwavering Passion
You receive rejection letters—and you take them in stride and continue writing. Despite the many “no’s” you have faced (or will face, if you haven’t already) you develop a commitment to writing. Rejection hasn’t stopped you from pursuing your passion. You learn from it and strengthen your dedication to furthering your skills. This commitment will pull you through. Writing is tough work, and you’re ready to face it head on.
Published writers: what was it that made you feel ready to send out your manuscripts? Is there anything you would add/change about this list?