January 19, 2010

You can't go it alone and a Reading Update

Instant gratification, writing is not.

For me, writing has meant months and years working on something with no feedback, wondering if I am mad for embarking upon such a bizarre journey.

I know writers aren't the only ones who feel like this sometimes.

This, I've learned recently, is why good readers are valuable. For the stages where your book is still clumsy, it is good to have other writers look at it - they understand the complicated process best, they can separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak, and see the kernels of success within a chapter full of weeds. They can point you in the right direction, help you figure out where to spray that Weed-Be-Gone to uncover the fruit of your work.

Later, when your book more fully resembles, you know, a BOOK, avid readers come in very handy. You don't have to be a writer to know if a story is effective or not. Suddenly, you become very grateful for all the people who chimed in that they would love to read your book.

Only (literally) last week did I get this.

I thought I could just write my book, with no feedback, and not go crazy.

News Flash, Tabby Catt:

Ain't gonna happen.

So I'm branching out, letting a few writer friends read bits of my book. I need the emotional comfort of knowing someone can read it and not run away screaming - "MY EYES, it hurts my EYES!"

Sometimes the only way to move forward is to ask for help. I'm not comfortable with that as a person or as a writer. As a perfectionist, I feel I should be able to do everything by myself, with no help from the outside world.

But it simply isn't possible. I'm learning - slowly - that asking for a hand does not equate failure.

You just can't go it alone.


I've finished one book this month, SUITE SCARLETT by Maureen Johnson. I have now moved on to my second. I am 11 pages in. We shall see if I can finish it and another before the end of the month. I may have to be strategic and throw in a short Narnia book as my third in order to meet my goal - don't want to get behind the very first month of the year!

1 comment:

Bria Quinlan said...

So so true. I'm famous with my betas for occassionally forgetting not everyone lives in my head...I mean, Come on! It's great in there. They should at least visit.

But my beta readers have been invaluable in that aspect. I always seem to have 1 glaring issue like that per book.

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