The Manuscript that Ate Its Own Head


‘You must keep sending work out; you must never let a manuscript do nothing but eat its head off in a drawer. You send that work out again and again, while you’re working on another one. If you have talent, you will receive some measure of success – but only if you persist.’

Isaac Asimov

I love Dr. Asimov. And seriously, what else are you going to do with the thing once it’s written? Might as well send it out as not, eh? We all know the stories of great books being rejected over and over and over, until finally they find their way to an editor who takes a chance on them.

Persist Persist Persist.

And if it’s not written yet, get busy. (I’m saying that as much to myself as anyone)

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6 thoughts on “The Manuscript that Ate Its Own Head

  1. Excelent advice, really!
    But I’ve got to admit that my oldest manuscripts, I’ll never be sending anywhere. The ones I wrote 10 years ago and that lack just about everything that makes up a good novel. Now, when I do finish one of my recent ones, I’ll surely send it everywhere. Siting here won’t do it any good, and me either.

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  2. Hi Ana,

    True, if you’re absolutely certain there is no way to save it I guess there’s no point in frustrating yourself sending it out. But the ones we feel good about will take an awful lot of courage and a thick skin to keep it out there until someone sees it the way we do. I’ve yet to send anything out, I hope I will be brave enough!

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  3. OMG. I do still have one sitting in a drawer, and it’s been talking to me almost daily for the last month. I never thought about it gnawing away at itself, though, poor thing. Can I tolerate having two manuscripts being rejected at the same time?

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  4. Does this mean the synopsis you were working on in Dec. for that agent came to naught? I didn’t know if you’d heard anything back yet, I know they can be slow to respond.

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  5. Oh, no! I haven’t heard anything yet, don’t expect to for at least another month. But, I have had about 19 rejections on that manuscript so far, and I’ve adopted a rather fatalistic attitude of hope for the best but expect the worst. But adding my YA novel to the rejection frenzy would up the ante.

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  6. That’s ok, with every rejection you increase your odds of finding one who will say “Yes!” 😉

    So do they give you any constructive feedback on why they reject it, or just the form rejection? Like not getting the job after what seemed like a really good interview, and you’re never sure why.

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