How To Know It’s Time To Share Your Writer’s Voice – Tips From American Idol

1362997_13052012No one loves you like your mother. It’s true, we all have one of those relationships where someone believes in us and our talents. We need that to stick our neck out there and try something new.

This person that has encouraged us to explore a talent, or even something we love. They see it from the side of the coin of helping us achieve our dreams and become a happier person.

Sometimes along the way, we switch them into the critique category thinking that somehow their motivation for our success will translate into great advice. Truth is, sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t.

This is true in our quest to be a writer as well. Our encouragers inspire us to take risks and practice our talent, but it is important that we recognize their role in our journey.

We need that circle of encouragers to get us to step out, but then we need practice, actual talent, critique from experts, and study of the craft of writing to succeed.

Let’s take a peak at what happens when we expect our encouragers to be our only feedback and voice along the journey:

Wow, they were not ready for the limelight. Unfortunately, their well-meaning encouragers missed the importance of helping them seek knowledgeable feedback in the industry they were working on. Someone who didn’t stand to lose anything if they were honest.

How about you? Do you have those encouragers that got you started on your dream? I hope so. But don’t forget the valuable steps you must take to be ready to share your writing voice.

Things You Should Do Before Sharing Your Writing Voice in a Submission:

1. Find a circle of encouragers. This is necessary for everyone. You need to have someone in your corner to deal with the rejection that sometimes comes in this industry.

2. Write. Write. Write. Before you submit your work to an editor or agent, you should have a completed manuscript. Spend a lot of time writing so your voice can begin to emerge.

Professor at work3. Study the Craft. No matter how talented you are as a writer, it is important to learn the writing craft and industry.

This will better prepare you for upcoming opportunities. Not only will it keep you from making embarrassing mistakes, but it will teach you how best to present your work.


Resources I recommend every writer reads before submitting their work:

From the Inside Out:  – Susan May Warren 

Plot and Structure – By James Scott Bell

Writing the Break Out Novel- By Donald Maass

Deep and Wide – Susan May Warren

Rivet Your Readers With Deep Point of View – By Jill Elizabeth Nelson


A Few More I Highly Recommend:

Getting Into Character – By Brandilyn Collins

The Fire in Fiction: Passion, Purpose, and Techniques To Make Your Novel Great – Donald Maass

The Art of War For Writers: Fiction Writing Strategies, Tactics, and Exercises – By James Scott Bell

4. Find a critique partner. Find someone you can critique with who is skilled enough in the craft to give you feedback that grows your writing. Also, set some ground rules to encourage honesty while building each other up.

5. Submit your work to a reputable contest. Contests will give you feedback from those more skilled in the industry who can help you identify areas you still need to work on. A few contests I recommend are the Genesis Contest, the First Impressions Contest, the Frasier Contest, and the Rattler Contest.

What do you think every writer should do before submitting their work to an editor or agent?



About Michelle Lim

Author Michelle Lim is the Brainstorming/Huddle Coach with My Book Therapy Press and the Midwest Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers. Michelle’s romantic suspense is represented by Karen Solem of Spencillhill Associates and has gained contest recognition in the Frasier, the Genesis, and the Phoenix Rattler, winning the Genesis in 2015 for her genre. Michelle writes devotionals for The Christian Pulse Online Magazine and Putting On The New. Since her nonfiction book release, Idea Sparking: How To Brainstorm Conflict In Your Novel, through public speaking and online chats Michelle helps writers discover the revolutionary power of brainstorming to bring new life to their stories.

6 thoughts on “How To Know It’s Time To Share Your Writer’s Voice – Tips From American Idol

  1. Hi Michelle –
    Great reminders. I’ve been contemplating submitting my wip to an editor for additional edits. I sent it to her months ago for a critique and have worked real hard on fixing those plot issues. So instead of sending it back to the same editor, I’ve decided to ask readers to judge it. Gulp! It’s been scary, but it’s a step I need to take. It’s so easy too. I’ve emailed the book to Kindles and IPad’s. No more expense on making copies. I know I’ll still have to submit the wip for line-edits but I’m hopeful the plots holes have been filled. My, this is a long process, isn’t it? The thought of submitting it to my agent/publisher before it’s “perfect” is a scary thought.
    It’s nice to “see” you here on Monday morning. I hope you have a great writing week!
    Hugs, Michelle

  2. Jessica R. Patch says:

    I think you nailed it! I’d also say, pray, pray, pray and then hit send! 😉

    I like Stein on Writing by Sol Stein. Have you ever read that one?

    • Michelle Lim says:

      I haven’t heard that one. I will have to check it out. Definitely, we need lots of prayer. This isn’t the solitary journey for a Christian writer. We have another who travels the road with us.

  3. When I first started writing, Hal Phillips (literary writer and screen writer) he wrote a million words before he was ready to submit. Hindsight? That sounds about right.

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