Wednesday, July 2, 2014

ISWG Wednesday

So, last month was my first time with the Insecure Writer's Support Group, and I have to say they were great! It was lovely to have friendly strangers stop by my blog and say hi.

Also lovely to be reminded that I'm not the only one crazy enough to fall in love with writing.



Right now, I'm actually in a pretty good place regarding my writing. (Excuse me while I go knock on wood.) Summer with the kids around is crazy, but I don't have as many responsibilities as I do during the school year when I'm teaching and editing a magazine for the university where I teach. I've finally nailed down a plotline I'm happy with (my deleted scenes document is now almost a book in itself), and I'm at the stage of revisions where I cut and tweak and make everything pretty. It reminds me why I love writing.

But.

In a couple of weeks I'll send my ms out to beta readers and with the inevitable feedback, the story won't look quite so shiny any more. Hopefully, it will be better. But even though the betas I have are all fantastic people who are rooting for me, I can't help worrying about their reaction. Will they love it? Will they--like me--see the potential through the flaws? Will they think less of me if I write a book that they don't love?

K. M. Weiland had a fabulous post recently about how writers are guaranteed to think their work fails--at least some of the time. And that's okay. It's part of our growth as writers. It's part of what motivates us to work harder, to improve our craft. 

My hope this week is for all writers to find those moments of brilliance that offset the inevitable retiring to the "cave of suckitude," as my sister aptly calls it.

28 comments:

  1. I have the same worries. Good luck with your manuscript! Take care.

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  2. Beta readers can make or break a writers ego.. :-) Just try and learn to take the advice you think works for your story and toss the rest. Not everyone will like everything any of us writes!

    Cheers,
    Shelly

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    1. Shelly, I know that in my head . . . somehow it still stings. But feedback is nearly always helpful!

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  3. Oh gosh… I always get freaked out when sending my work to betas… the fear never leaves!!!! And it's comforting to know that K.M. Weiland thinks that we're guaranteed to think that our work will fail, LOL… because I do every day! I like your hope for the week. We do need to have more faith and belief in our work. It's too easy to be down on ourselves.

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    1. Morgan, you're so sweet. Let me know if *you* ever need another beta reader . . .

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  4. I know what you mean. I call it the "Shiny Manuscript Syndrome." When I start a new project, especially before I've gotten any feedback on it, I think it's the best thing ever.
    I've also learned that how I'm feeling about a manuscript often has nothing to do with how good it is. Beta feedback always surprises me, whether it's good or bad.

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    1. Funny how hard it is for us to see our own work! Thank you.

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  5. congratulations on getting to such an important step -- trusted beta readers are the most valuable to a writer :-)

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  6. Indeed, you've reached another milestone and you seem to have a pretty good grip on potential "realities" with your work. Congrats!

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  7. I think you are well prepared for the possible suggestions, revisions in your future and that is half of the battle.
    Good luck and good vibes for you for amazing feedback from your beta's!
    doreenmcgettigan.com

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    1. Yes--readers are critical! I try to tell my students this, but I don't think they believe me.

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  8. Cave of suckitude...also known as the place I live haha. The perils of being a writer.
    Happy ISWG Wednesday!

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    1. Yup. Mine is stashed with chocolate. :)

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  9. Yes a balance between suckitude and brilliance would be more than welcome. I'm floating in the grey right now :-)

    Anna from Shout with Emaginette

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    1. I'm more than familiar with that feeling . . . hopefully yours passes quickly!

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  10. LOL at cave of suckitude. That's where my CP says I live. LOL You are in a great place. Congrats. Glad you found this group helpful. I've felt that way since I joined last year.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! My mom's maiden name was Burton, so I always feel a happy glow anytime I see that name . . .

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  11. If your beta readers are writers, they will see the potential! And make suggestions that will be positive and meant to improve.
    I guess I've done it enough now that I don't fear my test readers or critique partners' reaction. Besides, one of my critique partners is hilarious and it's impossible to feel threatened or get mad when I'm laughing at his comments...

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    1. Thanks, Alex. I have a great critique group, so I shouldn't be as intimidated by beta readers as I am . . . but it always feels a little like sending my child off to school for the first time.

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  12. Beta readers are a great help and I love mine! They give insights I wouldn't have thought of and help fix those holes I'm standing in and dont' see. Have fun with and good luck! :)

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  13. I get it. I do.
    It's hard to put ourselves out there.
    But, we have to do it.
    Keep moving forward.
    Heather

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    1. I appreciate the motivation! It IS hard.

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  14. Your thoughts on this are great. I'm a first-timer at IWSG, and it is already amazing. I'm just starting a first draft, and terrified that I'll be without those moments of brilliance as well. I'm sure you'll be pleasantly surprised, though. Good luck! :)

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  15. Oh, I know how you feel! I read a great quote somewhere...don't remember who said it, but it was something along the lines that it's good for writers to doubt their own work. It makes us hungry to learn. Good luck to you!

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  16. It's always a little scary when you send your work to beta readers. You know it's going to come back with corrections, but you also hope that there are notes that praise the work too. Good luck.

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