Try, try again

There’s a reason for the saying “practice makes perfect.” Nobody ever said “just try it once, it’ll probably work out.” So it’s no surprise that the same goes for publishing. Because for the most part, almost no writer gets their first book published. In fact, with very few exceptions, first-time authors have quite a few books written, sitting on a shelf or hard drive perhaps, by the time they sign that contract.

There are several reasons why this is a good thing. And today I wanted to link to this blog post by Rachelle Gardner from one of my favorite agent blogs, Rants & Ramblings, to help explain why. I think what Rachelle says makes perfect sense—the writing process undoubtedly teaches a considerable amount about what works and what doesn’t. And beyond the business aspect of her argument, up-and-coming writers can only benefit from spending as much time as possible exposing themselves to the craft.  One of the best things for aspiring authors to remember is to not only write every day, but also read every book they can get their hands on. Improved skills can only improve those chances.

How about you? Do you fall into this category of having multiple manuscripts floating around, whether in your head or on paper?

3 Responses to Try, try again

  1. Jenni Wiltz says:

    This is so true! I’ve written four manuscripts total, and am working on the fifth. My first got good traction after an agent read the first hundred pages (she mentioned it to a publisher), but I wasn’t experienced enough to deliver a full-on high-quality manuscript yet. Same story with the second. The third and fourth, though, are way much more polished, thanks to a good year spent polishing them. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

  2. Kim says:

    I absolutely agree with this. I probably went through a hundred (only a slight exaggeration) drafts of my first novel, which is the novel that taught me to write. Three novels and several classes, workshops, and critique groups later I feel much more comfortable with the craft.

  3. Donna Hole says:

    LOL; yeah. I’ve written a trilogy, and some short stories, and started several projects. I think I needed to venture off the path of my first novel just to see the structural errors. I’ve gone back frequently for editing and revision. Must be why I’m so slow about querying it. Can’t help it, my first novel is my favorite baby.


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