Hubs and I had a 3rd attempt at fried chicken. The first two went well in the past but this time we didn't go the boneless strip route, and fried up some legs. Well...the first 4 were kind of pink but we were sure that was because of the bone. Sometimes it is colored closer to the bone, right? Well...we munched down those waiting for the last 3 to finish. By the time we got to the last ones, they were all pretty and NOT colored ANYWHERE. So, at this point, as I edit this post on Tuesday night, hubs and I are waiting for the salmonella. From now on, to do away with any doubt whatsoever, we're sticking with boneless.
So, I read all the time about how writers lack confidence in themselves. We are always the hardest on our own work. And, while I am inclined to believe this is true(as I know a little about myself and all) I don't see it as a bad thing. And I don't really think it's a flaw I need to work on.
I think, as a writer, we look at our work and think "we'll that could be a lot better." or "my dialog could use some work." or even "man I really blow." because we need to. We need to acknowledge that we have areas we could always improve so that we can cope when we get critiqued.
If you already believe your writing needs work, your characters aren't very strong, or your plot drags here or there then when someone tells you "hey, don't you think this is a little weak?" you don't fall apart.
Writers need tough skin, can't take it personally, so on and so forth. But the truth is, how do we not take it personally? We spend hours, days, months, and years with our characters. We poor our hearts and souls into our work; blood, sweat, and toil and all that jazz. How can we not take "I'm sorry but it just isn't what we're looking for" personally?
No one likes a bad critique but the reason we deal, the reason we persevere, and keep on plowing ahead for our dream is our one coping mechanism: Low self-esteem.
Okay. But when you already believe throwing a ball in the air will only come back down again, are you surprised when it does? Nope. You knew that.
I'm not saying we all really do suck like we believe. And I'm not saying taking your low self-esteem to an extreme isn't dangerous, you do need to believe you're awesome in general. But how much better does it feel when you think "oh this is just okay" and you get a critique from a partner that can't stop gushing about its awesomeness? SO GOOD, that's how!
Lacking confidence saves writers from falling apart right at the first sign of negativity directed at their work. It keeps their manuscripts out of the flames and away from the shredders most times. Instead of freaking out, doing handstands on the tables and screaming incoherently until someone carts them away in the big, white, padded van, most just curl up with a gallon of ice cream, a big blanket, and a feel good movie to drown their woes in for a while. Then pick themselves back up and try it again.
Being prepared for rejection keeps writers in one piece, whole, and ready to work a little harder, push it a little farther, and keep doing what they love. Instead of running away and joining a circus. Wait. That sounds like fun.
Anyway, believing in yourself is different than believing in your writing. Believing you CAN do it and being prepared to accept your MS needs more work are the two most important tools a writer can have. And when an agent/editor/ publisher picks up your MS and is pleased with what they hold and its saleability, I doubt you will believe it's real, really happening this time, because of all the times you had to try again during the process. And, to me, that surreal feeling, can be so nice. And so worth it.
Humility, lack of confidence, all those negative feelings you have toward your MS keep it and you whole.
But that is just my opinion, after all. And, really, what do I know? I could just be trying to make myself feel better. It worked!
Don't let yourself stay down, if you're in a low place with your writing and that journey you're one with it. Thinking you suck and actually sucking aren't the same. Chances are 95% good that you really don't. Look it up. That is a totally accurate statistic. Yup.
But, really, how many times have you read someone else's work who has been telling you how low they feel and you're blown away? It's the same with you, dude. You are leaps and bounds better than you believe you are. It's a writers curse. And it makes you strong. In a weird, butt-backwards way.
HERE are 12 ways to create suspense.
HERE you'll find a contest to win Across the Universe (which I DESPERATELY NEED TO READ!) from Scribbler to Scribe.
We went to eat Chinese for the hub's birthday and my fortune was: "Every artist was first an amateur" HA! Right? Love when those pesky cookies are so well placed.
Happy Writery Wednesday!