Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Obvious to You, Amazing to Others

One of my good friend, Krista at Mother, Write. Repeat., hosts a contest every once in a while, called An Agent's Inbox. The basic idea is that writers with complete, ready to submit manuscripts can post their query letter and first 250 words. The Agent reads the entries just as if it was in their inbox and responds accordingly. I like to read the entries and the commentary because it gives me things to look at for honing my own work.

This time, it left me feeling a little down. And it's kind of silly, and obvious, but here's why. The agent said that things that are similar to my idea (not in essentials, but in general themes) were really getting overdone. It's the "ordinary teenager discovers something amazing and unique about themselves and has to save the world" kind of thing. But also, different. I read comments about how frequently that theme is presented and it left me wondering what I had to offer. What is unique about my idea? How is it going to stand out in the midst of all the other similarly themed books?

I mentioned it to my husband. And he sent me this:

And I felt better. I hope it helps you, too.


Kasey @ The Beautiful Thrifty Life said...

WOW! Love that!!! I just submitted my first manuscript today and I definitely needed a lot of outside motivation before I went forward with it. I always knew I had skill at communicating ideas, I just never really knew if I had ideas worth communicating. Then in the last couple of months I've just had this feeling that I needed to move forward with my WIP and then I kept getting all these signs- amazing compliments from actual writers (one a NY Times Bestselling author!!) and I thought okay, maybe I can do this. So I decided to just give it my best, put it all out there and let it be whatever it will be.

My favorite song right now is by Andy Grammer: "You can do this, you can do this. You are not a lunatic. Crazy would be changing your mind."

Because if you don't try then you'll never know, will you?


Krispy said...

That's lovely and perfect! Thank you for sharing!

I think this relates to all the talk of trends and being original, and how we shouldn't think so much about those things than about what we can bring to the table. Every theme is "overdone" at some point, so it's really about your unique treatment of it.

Small Town Shelly Brown said...

Love it! Thanks Kayeleen. Thanks Kayeleen's husband. Thanks guy who made the short.