Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Ways to Enjoy the Ride

Photo by Karon Pomplin

Writing can be a roller coaster ride. One day it's praise, the next day it's criticism.

Sort of like a new mother. Let me give you a scenario.

An exhausted mother gives birth to a new baby (a manuscript) and the people around her (cps/readers/friends with eagle eyes) gives her feedback. Some will take the time out and think carefully about how to put the whirlwind of thoughts into kind words.

And some, instead of praising the beauty of her newborn, are more than ready to point out all the flaws— crooked mouth, odd head shape, webbed toes etc. without carefully thinking about how the words flow out.

Sure, it's gonna hurt. A lot.
No doubt about it.

I have to say, I've been pretty fortunate. I have some really AWESOME cps and they have all been there to lend a helping hand.

But rejection, no matter how minor it is can still hurt. So how do you cope through it and get back on the thrill of the ride?

Here are some tips:

· Take a breather.First of all, after the tears dry out, look at the person's comments with an open heart. Chances are that all you needed to do is take a day or so away and come back, analyzing it with fresh eyes. You'll be surprised on how much your ms can be improved just by taking a breather.

· You're in good company.
EVERY writer experiences this at one time or another. And every writer will ALWAYS have to go through it. The trick is learning how to deal with it and never giving up. Just remember, it happens to EVERYONE.

· Get more than one opinion.But don't make yourself go crazy with too much feedback! Three at the most, should help you decide what needs to be done.

· Is it an opinion or fact that this person is pointing out?
Make certain the comments are craft worthy and not just a mere opinion. Ask specific details. Don't be scared to ask their feedback on how to fix what they assume is broken.

· Let it sink in.Don't rush to take every suggestion to heart. Think about it. Carefully. Make a list of things that can solve the inconsistencies or problems. Make a list of pros and cons. And don't forget to ask a few other trusted friends for their opinions.

· Remember, it's your baby and none else's.
You are the creator. Follow your heart. If it doesn't feel right, it may not be. You know your story more than anyone else. And please don't forget to take a breather! Even roller coaster enthusiasts have to take breathers.

Happy writing, and remember, the sting of criticism only lasts a short while. Trust me!!
How do YOU deal with the bumps in writing?


Angela Ackerman said...

Good reminders, every single one. :)

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

Martha Ramirez said...

Thanks Angela!

lynnmosher said...

Great points and post, Mart! Glad I got to read this!

Martha Ramirez said...

Thanks, Lynn!

madcapmaggie said...

Mart, great reminder. I used to study ballet (I wasn't very good), and I noticed that the most promising dancers got all the criticism. I try to remember this whenever I get comments back on my work.


Martha Ramirez said...

Peggy, this is a great thing to remember! Thanks for sharing.

Mika said...

Love the birth analogy! And the wise reminders that follow. I need to pass this on to my kids for not just their work, but for life! Thanks!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for taking the time to share the great information in your post.

Martha Ramirez said...

My pleasure, Susanne!