Letting an outside perspective take a look at my work is not my idea of fun. I recently sent out some work to be critiqued. They’re lovely people, and fantastic writers, but it’s still hard to watch one’s work be revealed as anything less than perfect. Like bubbles, writing feels kind of fragile sometimes.
Of course, no one says it’s easy to edit. Ever. And it’s easier to have these people look at it than try to find all the problems on my own, and it’s definitely easier than sending it out to publishers and agents and have them spot the errors. Just remember that it’s not perfect, but that’s okay.
It’s important to not be too sensitive about it, which is kind of hard to do because after spending so many hours on it a book becomes a kind of baby. Edits and critiques aren’t personal attacks (and if they actually are they can probably be ignored out of hand). They’re the opinion of someone else, and they don’t know the whole of the story or the intent behind a particular passage so you don’t even have to do everything they say.
But they also point out weak areas and missing details and typos and all those things that are a little hard to see sometimes. Kudos to all you critiquers and beta readers and editors and proofreaders, who contribute to make the written word the best it can be. I can’t do this without you.
Writing is hard. The important thing to remember is you wrote a book. That’s amazing. There wouldn’t be anything for anyone to read without that, good or bad.
I’m still just a writer (can scribble semi-coherent words), not quite an author (published for money) yet. Along my journey thus far I’ve collected a few websites that I find really useful. This is not to say that everyone will like them or should use them, but I find these ??? worth the time and occasionally money. Continue reading