Those two things don't really sound related, but I'm squishing them together in a kind of life update slash inspirational post.
Just this past week, I participated in the Write On!Are You Hooked? critique round, submitting the first 250 words of one of my novels. I did it last minute because I'm on the Teen Team, and we had to wait until submissions were closed. I chose my least favorite novel opening, the one I'm totally not sure what to do with, and posted it without allowing myself to think twice.
The feedback I got was gold. No, I'm not going to say which entry it was. If you know me and my projects, you already know. But they basically said what I already knew (and didn't want to address), with some bonus things I'd never even thought of, which is awesome!
I won't lie to you, I felt a little frustrated for maybe a day after all the comments came in. Frustrated with my talent as a writer. To be fair to myself, this beginning isn't a fair representation, since I did submit one of my more troublesome pieces. (Hey, I REALLY needed feedback!) But all the same, I developed a mini case of I'm The Worst Writer Ever.
Critiques will do this to you. Nine times out of ten. No matter how many critiques you receive, no matter how thick you grow your skin, sharing your beautiful creations with the world and getting negative feedback is always going to hurt. At least a little bit.
It happened to me. I didn't even write that day (or more like I couldn't.) I had to allow myself to feel the way I was feeling.
And then I got over it.
The important thing is to release yourself to have your moment, and then shake it off and choose to use the critiques as a mounting block. Otherwise, you're not going to get anywhere, and neither is your novel.
That's the morale of this blog post. You've got to press on! Critiques are an essential part of the writing process. Sometimes what you write will suck. Sometimes it'll just be weak. But when other writers tell you this, instead of letting it knock you down, let it push you in the right direction. Toward success.
I'm not working on that particular project at the moment, but when I do, I'll pull out all the feedback, roll up my sleeves, and dig in. And it'll be great.
As for the Christmas part of the post, it's only four days away. It's my favorite holiday. Now that I'm officially on Christmas break, it's time to relax, bake cookies, wrap presents, and enjoy cups of warm things by the tree.
That's all I have for you today. Hope your Tuesday is amazing and full of Christmas cheer, if you celebrate. Even if you don't, I hope it's still wonderful and warm and fuzzy.
For the comments, how do you deal with critiques? Were you part of Are You Hooked? Did you guess which was mine? (Don't really answer that last one. I kind of don't want to know. *hides face*)