Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Writers are Tough-Skinned People

A word of advice: You're going to need to have a tough skin when it comes to being a writer in any way, shape or form. I'm constantly subjected to people telling me my writing sucks or I got something wrong or just plain telling me how to do my job at the newspaper. You have to get used to it, because it never stops. This weekend, though, I experienced a new type of hell. Critique.

See, I'm pretty proud of my manuscript that I finished last month. I know it's got some issues. Big issues, if I'm being fully honest. I know it's going to take a ton of work to whip it into shape. And, that's going to be painful, because I know how much work it's going to take.

This last weekend, though, I got my first comments back from my critique partner. It was all constructive, it was all good. She made fantastic points and I love her because I know that if I apply her advice, I'll have a much better story in the end.

That didn't stop it from hurting a little. This was the first time I have ever shared anything of this length with anyone else, and I wanted her to like it. And she did, but she knew it could be better just as I know it can be better. And while agree with pretty much 99.9% of what she said, it was hard to hear. It was emotionally draining. And, I couldn't write after we were done talking, even though I sat down and tried.

It's a tough business. When you write, you're putting your work out there to be judged. People are not always going to like what you write. You will never have everyone agree it's fantastic unless you show it only to your mother.

You have to remember it may not be because you're bad. People have different opinions, and not everyone is going to like the same things. Even my CP and I disagree on tastes when it comes to books. That's the way of the world. So, you're going to need to grow thick skin to be in this business.

Tell me, have you ever gone through critique like I just did? How did you react? What's your advice/fears/questions about it?