Writing Update – July – I Love Critical Feedback

This is a point in history my kids will read about when they’re older.

Britain voted to leave the EU 52% to 48%, which isn’t a vast majority, but enough to secure separation from the European Union. Now it’s over to a new government to sort things out since David Cameron resigned after campaigning to remain with the EU. Let’s see how things pan out. From here on, the future is grey.

So what about the writing? I’ve been diligently editing and correcting the format since I’ve been back from the UK and now I need to change all my spaces to one space after a full stop. That’s the trend it seems.

I’m almost halfway through editing (again!) and the critique from my friend and colleague, Thomas (same name as my MC but not the same person) has been invaluable to me during this process. I say this because he does not critique like a friend, he critique’s like a reader and is objective in his feedback.

Previously, I was reading through and editing myself thinking I knew best, but clearly I didn’t. There are a lot of details I need to resolve and I’m learning exponentially as we travel on this journey together. Getting critiqued is tough in the beginning, because no-one likes criticism. I look at it from another angle, that criticism is a perfectly natural and integral part of the writing process. It is integral to growing as a writer and I actually look forward to getting critical feedback, because it’s an opportunity to learn and improve, and I really hope I’ve improved.

I am sure a lot of people are afraid to share their first pieces of work with others, worried that it’s not good enough, but bear in mind, all writers go through that and there is a 100% level of empathy; I know how you feel! Don’t be afraid, just hand it over. No-one will throw a rock at your head, even though mentally you might feel like they have. If you need time to psych yourself up (like a week before seeing the dentist – that’s what I do), do what works for you, find the courage to ask another writer for feedback, it will help and it’s the beginning of your next step into the writing business.

If feedback is painful for you to listen to, give yourself a reality check, because one day if you do get published, there will be a lot of positive and negative criticism and you’ll have to get used to it.  There will be no choice. The critiquing part of the process is not only thought provoking, you will also toughen your resolve against negative comments, or comments that are not constructive, because it WILL happen.

I’m not intending to frighten, I am intending to be realistic in my expectations going forward. So back to the editing for another few months I expect, then I’ll start to query and talk about rejections.

By the way, want to know what agents and publishers are looking for?  Check out https://twitter.com/hashtag/MSWL?src=hash in Twitter.  Read the rules here, http://www.manuscriptwishlist.com/faq/.  This is for the month of July only.  Don’t waste time and see who is helpful to follow and do your research before you decide to submit your MS.

Thanks,

Sifi

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