I finished writing the latest manuscript before Christmas. After several more times of re-editing, I came to THE END for the 49th time. Now it’s time to find readers to provide feedback for the next steps in the process.
Several months ago I wrote an article titled Writing a Resume is Like Writing a Novel. A few weeks after Christmas I carefully chose six readers to provide feedback before sending it to the editor. The results are “in” and I thought you might find the comments interesting, as you may want to write a resume or an article or a book one of these days.
Reader 1-the engineer/recruiter; he provided short, pithy comments, including “too much description. Just get to the bottom line.”
Reader 2-a Presbyterian minister; he gave it thumbs up, encouragement and positive comments, but not much constructive feedback.
Reader 3-a female software engineer; her feedback helped immensely, especially by suggesting jazzier titles for the chapters. I agreed with her ideas, as my titles were boooorrrrrinnnng.
Reader 4-a retired CFO; he provided in-depth feedback, taking great care to be diplomatic. Little did I realize, he’s written many papers and articles about his ancestors. His thorough comments focused on wanting more data and better transitions.
Reader 5-a lawyer who is preparing to write novels; “not enough description. I didn’t read the whole book as you need to embed far more description.”
Reader 6-an HR consultant; never responded.
If you read the former article I wrote about resumes and writing a book, I should not have been surprised by the variety of comments. All the comments provided insight. I began the re-writing, just as you would, but I freaked out, thinking I should trash the document. Then I came to my senses with a little self-talk saying, “Ruth, no one told you to throw it away. Keep moving forward.”
Take notice the lawyer’s comments are quite relevant to anyone seeking a job or writing for publication. You must grab attention from the start, or the reader stops quickly, even if the total document would knock someone’s socks off.
Over the past weekend, I wrote the words “THE END” again, after re-writing the manuscript once more. I sent it to the editor, whom I found on LinkedIn. I targeted someone who could help with both the punctuation, grammar, and spelling, as well as give me valid, constructive feedback based on her solid background in writing and publishing before submitting it to a publishing company. I’m excited, nervous and eager to see what she says.
This new book I want to publish is not about careers, my regular platform, but a creative non-fiction story, telling how my travels impacted my career and life journey. Yes, writing a book is a little like looking for a new job. Scary but full of learning and growing, often feeling like living in a dark cloud, searching for a door where maybe, just maybe, the light will shine.