Posted by Angelica R. Jackson
Road Trip Wednesday is a "Blog Carnival," where YA Highway's contributors and followers post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on their blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.
This week's topic: What's the biggest writing/querying/publishing mistake you've made so far?
I think others will also be featuring this biggest mistake: querying before the manuscript was actually ready.
Three years ago, I absolutely thought it was ready. Well, this close to being ready. But you see, I was going to beat the system. I knew it would take a while to hear back on queries, so that bought me more revision time, right? Yes, technically it did--but I didn't do anything else during that time period that improved my craft, so it didn't matter.
Sure, when the requests started coming in, I caught a few more spelling errors or typos, but there were not any drastic improvements. So those requests turned into form rejections when they got the pages.
It wasn't until we formed our current YA crit group that I felt like I made real progress in my writing, partly from what we cover in our meetings and partly from all the links and resources we exchange. Couldn't do it without the cannibal club!
Now, if the question had been about the funniest mistake, I only have to go back to last week on Twitter. An agent posted that they were going to start a "Query All-stars folder" for the really crazy queries she gets.
It struck me that some twisted soul would take that as a challenge, a way to get her attention. So I jokingly tweeted, "Challenge accepted! Something new to strive for!" Only she didn't know I was joking and I think I kind of scared her.