Claire King


It is never the right time.

Posted on: August 7th, 2010 by Claire - 12 Comments

I have come to a conclusion over the course of this year which doubtless has been reached by many others who have gone before me. I will say it again anyway because sometimes, Oh my Best Beloved, a thing has to be repeated to Sink In.

It is never the right time.

It’s never the right time to write, never the right time to edit, never the right time to concentrate, never the right time to start the long process of submitting your work.

There is a conspiracy amongst inanimate objects and just about everyone else in the world to provide valid excuses to you, The Writer, for why you are have not yet completed and submitted your manuscript.

Here are some of my favourites: school holidays, work obligations, making time to be a good wife, keeping the house clean to a bare and sanitary minimum, friends and family, tax returns…

If you let them they will tell you that now is just not the right time. Tonight will be easier, or first thing in the morning. When the kids have started school. In autumn, when the nights are longer and they will sleep better. After Christmas, once all of the shopping and partying is over with. New Year – a perfect resolution. OK, before you turn 40, there’s a good goal. Maybe when the market picks up?

I could wait another six months, another six years, tweaking and prevaricating.

No! That’s not for me! Somehow I’ll escape all that waiting and staying. I’ll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing…

The right time is now. My synopsis may be missing an apostrophe, my query letter may not be italicised where it should be, but a first time novelist has to write. And she has to do her best – accepting it may not be perfect – and then put herself out there. And there will be someone who will see her submission for what it is.

This is what I hope.

Bon voyage, novel, you’ll move mountains.

12 Responses

  1. Mary Clark says:

    It was exactly the right time for you to send her off. Your fledging had feathers. She was ready to hop over the side of the nest. Bravo!

  2. I was just having this conversation with one of my beta readers. Every round of revisions makes my ms that much better. How do I know when it’s finally ready? The answer is, you don’t. It always get better, but if you keep revising, you’ll never get it submitted. If you never get it submitted, then what are you working for?

    • claire says:

      Exactly. In business we work to deadlines with set parameters for success. Art is so much more fluid, there comes a time to accept that industry professionals will be able to read it and know if it is something that can fly.

  3. Jamie D. says:

    I think we writers get way to caught up in the idea of perfection…and it’s just made worse by everyone out there saying it’s got to be “perfect” before we send it out. There’s no such thing as perfection though. I think it’s far healthier to focus on making it the best *story* we can, and not sweating the small stuff so much. Then get it out there and see what happens. Worst thing that happens? We work on it some more.

    Best of luck with your submissions! 🙂

    • claire says:

      That’s just it, Jamie. I’ve learned from writing flash that sometimes I can work it and rework it until I’m happy with it, but then no-one else likes it! Whereas sometimes, under time pressure, I can write a piece that gets great reviews.

  4. Bravo…right on! I’ve reread excerpts from books I had published years ago and cringe because this line or that could have been written better. We’re never satisfied!

    A writer in one of my groups this week said she is going to stop subbing and study for another year because she got a “couple” rejections. I say writing involves on the job training. Never feel like you’re too poor a writer to put it out there, and never too good a writer to learn something new every time you do.

    Thanks for posting this.

    • claire says:

      Too true, it’s a constant learning process. We don’t want to be in such a hurry that the agent rolls her eyes reading the submission, but there comes a point where putting it off is just avoidance tactics!

  5. Rebecca says:

    I really love this post, and I am with you all the way! Best of luck.

  6. This is a great post – and chimes exactly with my latest blog post which may be me talking about writing the Second Book but is really me saying, It’s not the right time, and what I need to hear is “The Right Time is Now”! Love it, might post that above my desk 🙂

  7. […] This ‘It’s never the right time’ is a post I made in August 2010 when I decided finally that I was done editing. I was going to find me an agent. […]

  8. Ruth Fanshaw says:

    Well done for submitting! All the best! 🙂

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