One of the most frequent reactions I get when someone I know finds out that I’m writing a book is:

‘Will you get it published?’


‘You must get it published.’


‘But, will you be getting it published?’

What I hear is this: nothing you write will be of any significance until and unless I see it in print (and can then judge you like a crazed Simon Cowell wannabe). Obviously, this is not what they mean, this is me, mid-NaNo. In a haze of toil and writing ten superfluous words for every two words that I’m truly happy with.

Okay, maybe they do have a point. After all, stories are written to be read. Yes, it’s going to be judged, because, well, that’s what people do. I just think that when you’re in the middle of the journey, and you’re looking at draft one in all of its immense glory, you don’t need to hear the P word (well, I don’t).

That’s what I don’t understand about these people (who supposedly exist) that submit draft one of a novel and expect to become the next Harry Potter. I mean, even Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone was drafted and re-drafted over years and then rejected by the first few agencies.

If you want to be good enough to be published, you don’t just have to have a great idea, or spend a month or a year drafting a manuscript of suitable length. You have to be willing to spend much more time re-drafting it, and that’s before it’s been seen by agents and editors who may have feedback of their own.

So, will I be getting it published? I don’t know. Let me write it first, and then ask me again.

photo credit: martinak15 via photopin cc