Friday, January 09, 2009

I Don't Suck!

I just recently realized something about myself and my writing. I can, without a doubt in my mind, say I am a good writer. I can put together stories that people enjoy.


Heehee. Now you may be rolling your eyes thinking "she's either giving herself another pep talk after another rejection or she's had one too many beers" but I can tell you it's neither.

I worked for 3 days on revisions to my manuscript, Danger, and then sent it to my AWESOME critique partner. That was before Christmas. I was thrilled and confident and totally feeling that this manuscript could be "THE ONE". I happily went on vacation, read several books, played around with my next 2 stories and came home.

Well, my critique partner responded with some self-editing tips and exercises to get me thinking more critically about my work BEFORE she'll send me her actual comments. My first instinct was to think, "Crap, I suck. Why does she keep finding things wrong with it? I shouldn't even bother writing anymore."

But it occurred to me that I've forgotten the meaning of a critique partner. She's not trying to tell me everything that's wrong or trying to "teach" me to write. She's pointing out things she thinks will make my already good story even better. Something else that played into me having this grand revelation was "listening" to the published people in my local RWA group talk about their revisions. That's when it occurred to me (again) that most people have to go through several drafts before their books are publisher-ready. Just because I'm not there yet doesn't mean I suck. It just means I still have revisions to do. It just means my job isn't done. No one is saying I can't DO the job.

Now here's the craziest thing. I started to compare this attitude to the way I teach. I know I'm a good teacher, but I know I can always improve. I may have some parents grumbling at me, but just because I do doesn't mean I'm a horrible teacher (unless EVERY PARENT was grumbling). It just means I may need to change my focus or my approach to what I'm doing. I've been living with that understanding the entire time I've been teaching. But I've never seen that the same approach applies to writing.

So I guess I'll keep plugging away on Danger, Broken Promises and No Surrender and sooner or later someone will want to buy my books!


Cindy Procter-King said...

Hi Lexi, lots of good points in here. Keep it up! Keep up the positive attitude. That's one of my goals for the year.

Jenna Stuart said...

"By George, I think she's got it!"

Your CP, happily pulling out the Prof. Henry Higgins impersonation. : )

Stick with it, woman!

Lexi said...

Cindy, thanks. We'll work to keep each other positive!

Jenna, you are awesome! Thanks for everything you do for my manuscripts and me.

Brenda said...

Of course you don't suck!

Now I'm wondering what Jenna's finding that I'm not! I've been out of practice way too long...