27 September 2012

Conquer Your Writing Weaknesses





Okay, so, I have a confession:

I hate getting critiqued and rewriting.

Trust me, I know that this is in the category of "very important" in terms of the writing stages. It's something I have to get used to, I know.

But you know what? It really sucks. I hate hearing negative things about my writing. But I also hate hearing only positive things. That annoys me too! I feel like the overly positive person is just telling me good things because they don't really want to help me. But I also feel like the overly critical person is purposely trying to hurt my feelings as much as possible.

Plus I feel like every step I do take to rewrite just makes things worse.

And you know what? All of this is so exhausting.

But I heard on a writing forum recently that if you never address the troubled areas of your writing than you are always writing on one level - the draft level - which means you never work to improve yourself and your writing stays the same quality.

And they're right.

So I feel I have conquered the "can't finish" stage. Now...it's time to conquer the next - the rewriting stage.

And I'll probably hate every step of the way, but I can do it.

Which writing weaknesses have you conquered? Do you have any you are trying to overcome now?

24 comments:

  1. Go girl! Hearing anything bad always sucks, but you're definitely right about too much positivity (I always wonder if they took some kind of happy pill beforehand).

    I guess the only way I'm able to really handle it is by knowing that it will eventually lead to an awesome, shiny manuscript!

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    1. Thanks Samantha! :) You make a good point too! That is the light at the end of the tunnel!

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  2. You're so right. Addressing our weaknesses as writers is very important. However, I think we should consider the source of the feedback before proceeding.

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    1. Very true! Sometimes I think there are some without the right intentions!

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  3. Yep.Yep. Yepper.

    Hugs and chocolate,
    Shelly

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  4. You are SO right! I feel like you took the words out of my mouth :-) I hate negative comments, although I know they can be necessary, but it is so hard to hear them or accept them. I don't think those giving negative comments want to hurt us - the reason I hate getting them is because it sort of raises that "what if he/she is right and I am an awful writer and will never improve" question that is just so discouraging and stepping on hope.
    Love the quote too.

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    1. Eeks, your last comment definitely spoke to me! The whole self doubt as a writer gets raised when a whole boat load of criticism comes about!

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  5. Getting a critique makes me wonder if I really want to be published. Do I really want to put the work into it? Do I even know how? (That's the really big question for me.) Then I take a step back and remember to take it one step at a time. And I don't have to take one person's suggestion. It's when the same suggestion comes from a bunch of people that it's time to pay attention.

    Good luck. :) The hard work will be worth it.

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    1. It's the HOW that stumps me! I find that I tend to create just a series of first drafts, instead of polishing the previous draft! My goal is to fix that approach and work with what I have!

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  6. Both E.D. and Carrie nailed how I feel about getting critiqued and having to rewrite/edit. I think I've developed a thick skin though because when I took my job as a marketing writer, I had no idea just how blunt and ruthless people can be when they are editing your work. There are days I leave the office and wonder how in the heck I got hired when I'm getting such negative feedback on my drafts. But 99% of the time, I see exactly what the problem is once they point it out and I have to admit to myself that they were right. And THAT is what makes me a stronger writer. I think you have enormous talent as a writer and you can conquer the rewrite stage too!

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    1. Funny thing is I take criticism better online I think! Or at least, that's what I hope I will say one day! :) I tend to cry even more in person...I am really really hoping that I develop a thicker skin to take critiques and understand how to use them! I'm starting small too - with short stories and flash fiction!

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  7. I taught for many years and some of my best students were not the most apparently talented writers; they were the ones who revised and revised. They understood that revision is an art unto itself. For those writers for which the sentences flowed perhaps too easily, they were the least inspired to push further.

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    1. Hmm...sometimes it isn't so much they didn't want to push but maybe they went to quickly into their first draft. Sometimes the work left to fix something up is overwhelming! Sometimes I think it's better to take longer than go quicker. I think you have a better grasp of the story. At least, that's what I think!

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  8. Hey Nicole, I thinks we are on similar writing paths. I had the never finish what I start thing to contend with and now that I have finished one first draft and 10,000 words away from another, I feel I got that one down. Now all the confidence I gained from that has been buried under the critiques of my CP. Really, when does the fun part start. This really is work. But, necessary. Happy to see I am not the only one.

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    1. Yes, you are definitely not the only one!! I know what you mean about the fun starting. Somehow though I'm still addicted to all of this and can't give it up! But I really hope one day I look at my finished first draft and say, "Yay! I can't wait to be critiqued!" :)

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  9. I can sure relate to your post. I've just finished making corrections to my WIP, as suggested by a friend, and I know there's more to come as I go through it a couple more times. But it's worth all the effort to end up with a manuscript that's free of errors. By the way, someone suggested loading your book onto your Kindle and listening to the robot voice read it to you. She said it's a good way to catch problems. I've never tried that, have you?

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    1. I haven't tried that approach! Although I'll bet that would highlight the issues! I think that does bring up a good point for me though..sometimes I think I show people too early. Although no matter when I show it I think it'll be tough! :)

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  10. Re-writing always stinks unless you, as the writer, are just so certain it needed a fresh direction. To me, it always feels like I'm killing part of something I brought forth.

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    1. God yes. And then I hear from people who end up submitting their work and take out the very elements they were told to add in their critique process. One approach I read recently I liked because this person submits their finished manuscript to Beta readers only, gets the general impression, and submits to publishers to get their feedback. I'm beginning to think that's a good idea!

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  11. My writing weakness is the same as yours. In fact, your timing in posting this was perfect. When the writing gets hard I convince myself that it's not working and move onto something easier, and more fun, hence, more unfinished manuscripts than I would ever admit to. I'm not going to do that this time! Thank you and good luck.

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    1. I do the same thing! Just a bunch of first drafts! I'm determined to conquer this stage! If I don't I'll never improve and I really want to. Good luck to us both!

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  12. Nicole! You got the part beat that I'm desperately trying to conquer myself, finishing that draft. I rewrite on the way, so that's partially my downfall. I need to be more disciplined with my time.

    I don't have any problems with feedback and I absolutely love feedback, even the negative feedback. I've found that some negative feedback I put on the back burner, will eventually come off the back burner and be a very positive addition.

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    1. Wow! Let's trade for a while! I'll be comfortable with critiques and you can get my ability to finish! :)

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