Monday, February 6, 2012

After You Hit SEND

Recently, I sent off a proposal. It was a big feat for me, since I had just come off of a writing break. While I worked on getting the proposal together, things came into place—I am scared of proposal writing, so when I stepped back and realized I had completed all the elements of my proposal (with a huge help from my crit partner!) I was thrilled! I read through it several times, thanked God for each error I found and corrected, then took the plunge and pressed SEND. AAAAHHHHHH!

Now, I am facing pressing SEND for Genesis, and I am sure many of you are too. Over the past year of querying and sending, I have learned a few things about what to do after you SEND:

1.Don't Look Back-- Remember how I said I read through my proposal several times before hitting send?? Well, when I went back and read through it again, I cringed at some minor, but obvious typos that decided to hide themselves from my eyes before. I can't do anything about them, just pray, pray, pray. The only thing looking back did for me is chip away at my confidence. Sure, if you use the same proposal or entry for another agent or contest, DO look back...but just like when you're climbing a ladder you shouldn't look down, don't look back to find mistakes that you can't fix.

2.Keep on Writing-- Sometimes the euphoria of hope in your submission catching an eye, or your entry moving to semi-finals, makes you puff out your writing feathers and strut around waiting for the phone call. Don't forget, writing is a journey! You don't want to hang out at the pit stop and munch on pork rinds and hot tamales thinking your “it” before you are. KEEP WRITING AND LEARNING. It's not etched in stone, it's not finished, you can always improve your game...hey, maybe I just negated point #1...but if you feel yourself getting this way, then do look back!

3. Remember Who You Are-- Yes, you are a writer, but before that, before any dream, you are a child of God. He cares for you regardless of the competition, regardless of the stellar agent signing you on. Nothing can change His love for you, and if you don't win or sign a contract, remember, everything happens for your good and His glory. You are right where He wants you to be, and if you're not, He's big enough to get you there!

I have struggled with these points, and it's been a lot of thinking and praying to get me to understand the importance of these tips. I'd like to share a song with you that every writer needs to hear after pressing SEND.
Angie Dicken first began writing fiction as a creative outlet during the monotonous days of diapers and temper tantrums. She is passionate to impress God's love on women regardless of their background or belief. This desire serves as a catalyst for Angie's fiction, which weaves salvation and grace themes across cultures. She is an ACFW member and CEO of a family of six.


Anonymous said...

ooo I know this far too well! Great post and a thankful reminder.

Debra E. Marvin said...

so very true. I can be confident right up until the press/keystroke moment and then I'm frozen.

I think that while you haven't submitted you are safe. When you send, it's not a game anymore. It's real! You might get NO! or yes, but, like you said, Angie, NO is so much stronger.

I just kept praying that I'd have the courage to accept whatever came and that it was all part of the journey. God's love and timing are perfect.

Gongratulations on SENDing!

Beth K. Vogt said...

Yeah, hitting SEND ... it's fun. And then I can rethink all the "I should haves" and "I could haves."
But like you, I don't.
And I agree that we need to keep on writing, but I allow myself a break ... a little bit of "Yay! I did it!" before I head back to the whole "Chapter 1, page 1" part of the process again.

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Super good tips! I'm excited about your proposal! I hope you hear good news.

I've pressed send three or four times in the last few months and it was scary! I've definitely learned to not look back because I've made that mistake before. Now I've just gotta keep moving forward :) Thanks again for the advice.

Lindsay Harrel said...

I'm entering my first few contests this year, so this is very timely advice for me. Like you suggest, I'm going to be mindful of not sitting around waiting for the results. Just keep moving, just keep writing. That's my motto! :)

Wendy Paine Miller said...

Excellent advice on all counts. #3 can get you through just about anything in life.
~ Wendy

Angie Dicken said...

Glad I am not alone! Thanks for stopping by! :)

Casey said...

Oh I hate hitting send! Actually, I hate the day AFTER I hit send. That's the day I start getting the nervous shakes. ;-) One thing I refuse to do is read over my entry after I've sent it. I won't go back and re-read or even edit until a couple months into the contest and I know all hope is lost. LOL! But it does keep me sane. For the most part. ;-)

Catherine West said...

Looking back is my worst bad habit!! Especially when there isn't anything I can do about it. If I've sent of a manuscript to my agent, I can't very well email her ten minutes later and say, "Um, about that scene in Chapter 6, I just deleted it..." Nope. I have to wait until she's done with the manuscript and THEN I can jump in with any fixes - but the key is, if you're not 100% sure it's ready to go, don't send it. If you're sure, then SEND away, but don't go back and start reading it again when it's going. Now as soon as I learn to start taking my own advice, I'll let you know!!

Angie Dicken said...

Thanks, Debra! It is such a roller coaster of emotions isn't it? What a journey:)

Angie Dicken said...

Ooh, do have to celebrate a bit least take a long enough break for chocolate!:)

Pepper said...

FABULOUS reminder, Ang and wonderful video clip.
Bottom line:
Whatever the crits say, we are loved BIG!
And our identity is not found in our writing, but the grace and love of a beautiful Savior.


Angie Dicken said...

Three or four times? You are a brave girl!;) Wish you good news soon!;)

Amanda Dykes said...

Ever had a moment of horror after clicking SEND? For me, it came when I got my first e-mail back indicating interest. I couldn't wait to share the moment with my husband, so I forwarded it to him with my own added message "Wahoo!!!!". ...Then I panicked. Had I really hit forward, or had I hit reply instead?

Gut sank.

I can laugh now, since it turned out I HAD hit forward, not reply... but nevertheless, that's my favorite story for "what I do after I hit SEND." :)

Thanks for the great post!

Susan Anne Mason said...

Thanks for that lovely video, Angie!

Best of luck with your submission!


Julia M. Reffner said...

Great post and I know this will be an encouragement to a lot of people. I love that song!

Jeanne T said...

Angie, wonderful post, and good for you for being brave! You've stepped out of complacency into the roller coaster of expectancy! :) look forward to hearing what God does with your proposal.

I've not hit "Send" yet, but anticipating it later this year. I'm going to take good points from your post:
1. Do all I can before I hit that Send Button.
2. Don't look back after I do it.
3. Take this message from your video (LOVED it, BTW): God has a future and a hope for me on this journey. I hope I'll look to Him for whatever He has for me to learn as a result of hitting "Send."
Thanks, Angie!

Angie Dicken said...

Thanks all for responding! I tried replying to each individually, but now that I look back, it didn't link up with the comment that I replied too! So, if you wonder who I am talking too, I am sorry! Silly blogger!
Thanks again!

Sarah Forgrave said...

Great advice, Angie! And I love what you said about knowing who you are. For me, I sometimes need to spend some time away from writing to remind myself I'm a wife and mother first. It always seems to put things in perspective. :)

Melanie Dickerson said...

Love this picture of you, Angie! And this is a great post. There's so much emotion wrapped up in hitting SEND!

I'm so proud of you! You are working hard and fighting for your dream. Praying for you!

M.K. said...

I'm waiting for software that will allow emails to be recalled.

Now following you blog.

Mary Vee Writer said...

...and I especially liked the song. I've never heard it before. In fact, I was so caught up with it that I didn't notice the title or who the singer was.

Angie Dicken said...

Amanda! Yes I have had that SEVERAL times!!
Thank you, Susan!
Jeanne, Good summary!;) Good luck hitting send in the future! ;)
Sarah, yes, I have to remember myself as mom and wife first and quickly I try to put those roles on the back burner...never thought I would do that!
Melanie, You have been such a fabulous mentor! I am so thankful to all you've done, and for your prayers. :)
M.K. Wouldn't software like that be awesome!!??!? So glad you are following.
Mary- It's a wonderful song...Someone Worth Dying For...but I can't remember who sings it...I think if you go to the link you'll be able to see.