Dear Manuscript That Is 25% Off (AKA 75% done),
I know it is dusty in that drawer. Or really crowded on that hard-drive (say hello to the pictures of the kittens for me).
I know you are sad. I know you want to see the sunlight again. I know it is terrible to be stuck on a cliff-hanger. You know everyone wants to know what happens next. I know I certainly do.
Your dreams have been crushed. You will never get a fancy cover and proudly display your pages at the local bookshop. The New York Times Bestseller List will never shout your name, and the Booktube bloggers will not hold you up for their audiences to admire. Most of all, you will not get a big, shiny sticker placed on your cover as a prize for holding such beautiful sentences and stories.
Oh, I know your dreams run deeper than the fame. You want to be passed among friends, your corners slightly dog-eared, worn from so much love and attention. You yearn for a tired worker to pull you out of her purse after a long day's labor and make you her only companion on her train ride home. You wish to be whisk away a bullied child from the struggles of the middle school hallway.
You are also a bit of a rebel. You want to be read during a dull math class or under the covers at night with a flashlight.
We know your writer abandoned you out of fear. Fear of failure. Fear of success (I am not sure what that means, but I would love to have the problem of wild success). Fear of criticism (internet trolls are no joke). Fear of seeing her ideas and stories and feelings lying naked on the page for the world to see. Fear of getting that award and having to make a speech. Fear of going on book tours and reading to an empty room. Fear of going on book tours and reading to a packed room. Fear of having to make small talk to strangers at a book launch party.Fear of making small talk at a party and hear the words "I never heard of it" come out of the other person's mouth. Fear of a really terrible cover. Fear of crickets. The fears go on and on.
I know you want to quote Cee Lo Green to the fears. I do too. They have prevented a book club from a rousing discussion about you over cupcakes (made, not bought from a store, because who can afford overpriced cupcakes). This is very, very sad indeed.
I would like to believe love, connection, and bravery beat fear. I really do. So I hope your writer returns to you soon.
Please don't discount your manuscript. Complete it.
P.S. Need a little help completing the 25%? I can help you here.