Thursday, September 27, 2018

Are you Open to Learning?

I just reviewed a manuscript of a woman who is a wannabe writer. I know using that term wannabe sounds a little arrogant. But we've all been there before. We pour our heart into something and by the end we think it's worthy of publishing. But it may not be. We want to be a good writer, but we aren't there yet. 

We sometimes become deluded by our work not because it's great and publish-worthy, but because we've spent so much time on it. We feel we've poured every ounce of ourselves into the project and so now we're done. 

Attachment Issues 

Pouring ourselves into a project can lead to another problem. We might become overly attached to it. Our writing becomes our child, so to speak. No one dares insult our child. 

Having spent so many unpaid hours on a manuscript, by the end, most of us just want to reap from it. We want it accepted by an editor or publisher or to self-publish it on Amazon, and we want to start earning royalties from it. 

The Value of Critiques

But to be a writer of something that sells, we need to be prepared to hear critiques, even if it's our own. What I mean by our own is we might let a manuscript sit for months or years and when we re-read it, see it's a mess. We give ourselves a reality check

The woman I mentioned above seems to think her three manuscripts are ready for publishing. It's obvious through the short encounters I've had with her that she isn't open to critique. She's defensive, as so many of us writers are. 

To become a good writer really requires ongoing learning. We can always learn from other writers--not just from their books, but from their input in online support groups or local meetups. There is also plenty of good material online and in the form of ebooks that will help us improve our writing. 

Tough Skin 

My web content articles are always edited/critiqued before I can offer them for sale. I've had to develop tough skin. Sometimes the editors are off base. Sometimes an editor points out stylistic changes which aren't necessary, it's just what they individually prefer. In those cases, I get frustrated. 

Where my eBooks are concerned, I'm a little more timid. I did pay $500 once to have a critique. In the end, it was valuable, but at the time it was a massacre. I scrapped the entire manuscript and started over. 

So are you prepared to take feedback on your writing? Or are you convinced you are stellar enough? 

Will you dedicate yourself to ongoing learning so you can improve in your writing?

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