Banishing Doubt

One of my retirement goals is to devote more time to my writing. This year, I joined SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators), began to participate in a weekly critique group which I found through membership in SCBWI, write almost every day and have completed four picture book manuscripts. This journey is exciting and enlightening. I’ve met many like-minded people, which is a true blessing. I’ve been amazed at the creativity of others (and sometimes, even myself), and I’ve been greatly surprised at how much effort needs to go into submitting a manuscript.

Today, I cleared the deck and decided I would devote my energies to submitting one of my manuscripts to several publishers. Five straight hours at my desk resulted in only two submissions. Granted, I’m a newbie at this, but between following submission guidelines to the letter and then trying to type a poetic manuscript into an email and have it format properly, I wanted to scream. This is when Doubt, dressed in her most alluring costume and speaking in her most convincing voice, pays a visit. This is when Doubt reminds me of all the other things I have to do and all the time I’m “wasting on this writing thing”. But Doubt does not like relentless people. Doubt does not like Relentless Rita, as my husband is fond of calling me. So, I take a breath and take a break but I don’t throw in the towel. I remind myself that this venture is a learning process and will get easier. Then, I begin to compose just one more query letter before I close down shop for the day.

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