Great Post by Rachelle Gardner

Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent extraordinaire, had a great post on competition and standing out from the crowd. As she said in her post: “As the competition gets stiffer, the judges are looking at more nuanced details of performance—pitch, harmonizing, stage presence, uniqueness, overall appeal. And each performer is not just being evaluated on their own merits, but measured against everyone else’s.”

How so very, very true, especially in today’s writer’s market. There is so much talent out there but for me, it’s not the competition I fear. It is my own lack of confidence. Deep down inside, I know I have a great novel, the plots and themes so intricately woven, my characters believable and loveable, and yet…?

What if no one likes it but me? What if it’s not good enough? Even after countless beta readers, published authors and teens (my target audience) have said go for it – submit – they’d buy and recommend – I still find things I want to change and perfect. And yet I know it will never be perfect. Perfection is subjective, even to me, depending on full moon and hormones. No, I fear it is my own worst critic – me – who will keep me from succeeding, not the competition.

Geez, my muse and I must sit down and have a long talk. 🙂

As Rachelle asked in her post, does the idea of competition scare you, or inspire you to keep working hard, or… what?


2 thoughts on “Great Post by Rachelle Gardner

  1. The competition doesn’t scare me, Jen. The only work I need to worry about is my own. I try my best, that’s all anyone can ask of me. But I agree we’re our own worst critics. I opened up the first novel in my series for what’s supposed to be its final round of edits, and I’m shaking my head at the way I’ve written one of the scenes and I’m only 10% in. At some point, we have to accept we’ve done all we can with a piece of work, and then let it go out into the big world. There is no such thing as perfection. If there was, and we reached it, we wouldn’t have to keep trying to better ourselves because we’d have gone as far as we can–and where’s the fun in that. I don’t mind that the next novel in the series reads better than the first, or that the third (as I’m writing it) is reading better than the second. It’s all about progression. You see it in every published writer’s work. I have favourite authors, and without checking their list of published works, I can tell if it’s an earlier or later novel simply by the way it’s been written. Even if it’s an earlier novel and all of their the mistakes that often come with an early writing career are evident, I still want to read it. So, wrap it up, believe what people are telling you, and move it to the next stage of getting it out there. You’re ready. Deep down, you have to believe it–just get rid of those doubts. 🙂


    1. working on the 1, 3 and 5 page synopsis as we speak. Each of the 3 targeted agents require different things so I’m trying to appease them! 🙂

      Then, when I get the last comments back from my beta reader on my last chapters, off this puppy goes into the sea of submissions. Someone will grab it, I know they will (at least I keep telling myself that).

      Thanks for the words of encouragement. I have a couple of shorts out to magazines right now. Keeping fingers crossed on them, too. Gotta love this writing stuff.


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