“Reality check.” The words of Simon Cowell.
I felt really bad for this guy. It just made me appreciate my critique groups and partners.
“Just because the love is there does not mean it’s your destiny.”
“Passion does not always equal talent.”
Okay. Let’s get real. It’s not impossible for a writer to judge where they are on the road to publication. It might seem it, but the clues are there if you look for them.
1. Read published novels in your genre.
2. What are the rejection letters telling you? Are you getting form rejections? Are you getting requests for partials or fulls? It could be just a matter of revising your query, if there were no sample pages.
3. Get feedback from other writers. Find a critique partner, who is a better writer, who you can trust to read your work and give honest feedback. Honest doesn’t mean harsh. There is a gentle way to tell the truth. And we do want honesty, right? Because it’s the only way to grow. No matter how hard or discouraging it is to hear.
I don’t want to get into the whole talent versus hardwork issue in this post. Maybe another day because I know there are some heated opinions on this subject. But I once heard an uplifting encouraging statement. (This is paraphrased.)
“There are the people who are truly gifted. They have high IQs. But that doesn’t mean they are always the most successful. A person who lands in the middle of the talent scale, can work really hard and find more success than the person born with the talent.”
So, don’t try to figure out how much talent you have in writing, or anything for that matter. It could be cross-stitching, baking stickie buns, or building structures out of popsicle sticks. Just keep working hard. Every day.
And even though it ain’t easy to see your work torn to shreds, find a critique group. With the right group, it can be the best thing you can do for your writing. It was and continues to be for me.
How has your critique group helped you? And if you don’t have one, why not?