Thursday, June 21, 2007

Clarification

I've heard rumor of some comments being made by another writer regarding my "Check Yourself" post in which I said it's important to surround yourselves with people who will be honest and yes, sometimes brutal, about your writing. Seems I've given the impression that I think that's the only way you'll learn and grow and that those are the ONLY people you should listen to. And well, apparently I've come off as a harsh biyatch who likes to tear people down. OKAAAAAAAYYYYY...BACK UP. (g)

{{One aside -- I've been contacted by MANY of you who agreed with what I had to say. So thank you for not thinking I was some crazy writer hellbent on making people's lives a living nightmare. lol. This post is only to quash these kinds of comments, though I'm sure they'll continue. (g)}}

First of all, that's not at all what I meant. And if you automatically assumed I was talking about you in that post, perhaps that's a clear indication that you DO have a problem. But as I didn't go anywhere near specifics, and only mentioned "a couple of writers" in passing, I'm not sure how anyone would deduce WHO I was talking about.

Second, if you read the post, you know that I listed three specific things to look for. 1. Do your critters ever find fault in your writing? 2. Do they ever point out things that deep down YOU feel need work? 3. Is anyone outside your group listening and agreeing with what's being said? If no is your answer to all three, yeah, YOU have a problem, IMHO.

And finally, if you don't agree with what I have to say on a subject, feel free to speak up. I'm MORE than willing to hash it out with people... not in a throw down, knock-out fight, but a nice civilized debate. Of course, as this is my blog, I reserve the right to stick out my tongue and say "Nuh-uh!!" (G) But, in all seriousness... this is MY blog. MY opinions. I'm not saying that I'm right. I'm just ranting, sometimes coherently, sometimes not so much. lol. Mostly these posts are just my reactions to the world around me. If I offend you, I'm sorry... but that doesn't mean I'm going to stop posting. As they say... door's that way...it works both ways.

And I'm not saying you can't have a support group. By all means, surround yourself with writers/friends who will be nothing but over-the-top cheerleaders who think you walk on water. In fact, you probably _should_ do that when you're starting out. But let's be honest, if you want to be published, someday you will need to break out of that safety circle and VERIFY that what you think is great, yanno, actually is.

Trust me, when you finish your novel and start querying agents, you will be thankful you did. Agents/editors/professional writers can be HARSH. Not in a "I want to tear you down" sort of way, but just in a blunt, "This is NOT good enough" manner. Do you really want to be left scratching your head after your umpteenth rejection, saying to yourself, "But my crit circle loves it! I don't know what I did wrong?!"

Trust me, I've been there. Hell, I'm _still_ going through it. And there's simply no better way to AVOID that kind of thing happening then to have honest critiques done of your work by disinterested parties who KNOW what they're doing. Your mom isn't going to be 100% honest...the writer you chat with on IM every day isn't going to be 100% honest (even if they THINK they are)...It's just a reality that you need to be aware of. And heck, we all cushion the blows when we're critting our friends...it's natural, it's understandable. But the important thing is to look outside your usual group to get other perspectives.

And here's one other thing to think about. Okay, I'm guilty of this from time to time... Jen=Human.

When you receive a crit and you don't agree with it, it's pretty natural to say this person doesn't "get" what I'm trying to do.. this person doesn't understand me the way my crit partners do... This person is just trying to be mean.. This person has it out for me.... *WAH WAH WAH BLAH BLAH BLAH YADA YADA YADA* *WHINE* Do you need a tissue? (g)

Gah, I've reacted that way...we probably all have. But is it the right response to a negative crit? Prolly not. Because whether or not you like what this person has to say, they represent a fragment of the reading population at large. Where there is one, there will be others... Those others will be agents sending you form rejections.

And one last thing to remember is that ultimately YOU have to be happy with what you write. All of this other garbage is moot if you don't like it... but once again, just because you think it's gold, doesn't mean others will... It's a vicious business, but that's the truth.

2 comments:

Carol said...

Hi Jen,
I don't know what to say. I hope you and this person can make nice. Or at the very least, agree to disagree.

Jen said...

Carol,

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA...oh wait, you were serious? (VBG)