Friday, October 8, 2010

Goober Writers Anonymous--Melissa Gill

Goober Writers Anonymous is a group for writers to vent about past or present writerly mistakes for therapeutic reasons, to educate others, or just for a laugh.  If you would like to join the group and sign up to submit a guest post, please leave me your email address in the comments below.

Perks of joining:  You get to put the nifty little badge on your blog (yes, this does indeed make you cool), sharing with others and being a part of a group is always fun, and I will put a link to your blog on my blog below under Members of GWA.

Today's guest blogger is Melissa Gill!  Please take a moment to visit her blog and become a follower!  It's completely worth it, trust me.  

Back yet?  Excellent!


Melissa Is A Goober:

Oh the number of goober mistakes I’ve made on my journey to becoming a writer is long and high-larious.

Like the time I went to my first creative writing critique at my local Jr. College. The teacher said to write a short story of 10 pages or less. I raced right home and poured my soul into a beautiful little story called “Zuri of the Savannah.” I was so excited I couldn’t wait to read it. Problem was, I had no idea that you should double space your manuscripts. I came from a business background and everything was single spaced. Luckily there were only a couple of other participants, but I about died of embarrassment.

Around that time I was working on my first Manuscript. I finally got to The End and ran it through spell check. Then for good measure I printed it out and gave it a once over looking for missing commas, or words that spell check didn’t pick up. That was what I called revision at the time. I printed it again, put it in a big white envelope, and mailed it off to the publisher I thought would be best. About four weeks later, the big honking thing was back in my mailbox with a polite rejection letter, and not a mark on it.

I continue to make mistakes, but I’ve learned a lot by getting engaged with the writing community through blogs, critique group, SCBWI. One thing that is and always will be hard for me, is simple attention to detail. I am not a detail oriented person. I’ve had several situations where I’ve sent out queries and forgotten to put “query” in the subject line. Last week, I forgot to attach my pages. Stupid goobery stuff like that. But sorry, that’s just the kind of person I am.

I am extremely cautious. I never just jump into the pool, I put in a toe first. That’s probably prevented me from making a million goobery mistakes. But there’s a lot to be said for being a risk taker too, sometimes I wish I were more daring. 

Thanks, Melissa!  Oh boy does this sound like me!  I can't even tell you guys how many mistakes I still make when sending out queries.  And, of course, I think most of us went through the early stages of writing thinking editing consisted of dotting our "i"s and crossing our "t"s, and nothing more.

Discussion:  How about you, dear readers?  Does this tale sound familiar to something you experienced, or are still experiencing?  Tell us about it!  We promise not to laugh.  :P

~Emily White


  1. What a super fun group! I have a feeling I'm going to learn a whole lot from all these awesome writers/readers experiences!!!!

    I'm loving the new site! I can actually stop by at work and I never used to!

  2. I'm hoping I don't make any goober mistakes with the short story I'm trying to finish in time for a contest deadline. These goober stories are so much fun to read and useful, too.

  3. ah yes, the edit for the typos and wordings without concideration about the "bigger" things. done that!

    and i TOTALLY wouldn't have known about the double spacing thing either! :)
    great post melissa!

  4. Hi there! New follower (*waves*)
    I've done so many things I wish I hadn't when I first started writing. It's unavoidable, but I'm glad that my fellow writers and i can all laugh about it!
    Great post!

  5. I make mistakes in my actual writing. I have yet to make mistakes sending things out and what now. I can't wait!

  6. Melissa, there are so many little goobers we make that it's hard to count them all.

    Great post!


  7. That is soooo high-larious! Its fun to look back at what was uber embarrassing at the time. My worst mistake was line-editing before big picture editing. How silly is that? But I'm not upset at myself any more. I like to think these mistakes represent our passion. We just go for it!

  8. Nice post, and I think we fellow writers can all relate to it, to some level or another! For one thing, we're just TOO CLOSE to our own work to see our mistakes. That's why we need other readers with eagle eyes. I can't tell you how many mistakes I've seen after I've put a novel away for a few months (or years). I'm appalled that I sent it out that way!


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