You’re Not Good Enough Yet and That’s a Great Thing
That’s how long it’s been since a literary agent reached out asking if I’d be interested in putting together a book proposal based on a few articles I’d written.
A few days later, after I let the jitters simmer, I sat down convinced I’d be able to knock it out.
Four hours later, I had nothing.
The next day, the same thing.
Self-doubt came pouring in.
“I’m not good enough,” I told myself. “I have a hard enough time putting together 900 words for an article, what makes you think you can write an entire book?”
Winter came and passed. And the Spring of 2020 had other plans. Over the summer, once COVID restrictions let up here in Spain, my family and I loaded up our car and took off for the coast.
“You’ve got a month to get this moving!” I told myself.
It wasn’t all a waste. I snorkeled a lot and caught buckets of fish with my kids. I even wrote what I thought were some pretty solid articles.
But in terms of the book proposal: zilch.
“I’m not going to touch it till next summer and just focus on becoming a stronger writer,” I said to a friend as we were packing up my car once my supposed book-cation was over. “If I haven’t made any progress by next September, I’ll thank the agent for the opportunity, apologize for wasting her time, and move on.”
Despite the mess the world has found itself in over this past year, June came quickly. Then she passed even faster. The same with July and August.
“Well, that’s it!” I said to my wife.
“I guess I’ll focus on something else!”
But something funny happened a month later: I sat down on my bed after giving myself a month's break from writing anything whatsoever to take one last stab at it.
To my surprise, the words came pouring out.
48 hours later, after I finally came up for air, I was looking at an 8,000-word proposal.