Why should you come out of your shell, out of that warm womb you call your writing space, and partner with other writers? Because you want to be an author? Hmm… maybe. Because you want to improve your writing? Likely. Most of all, because you love to write? Hell, yeah.
Will it be easy to bare your soul? Your baby? You’re writing? Yes, of course … spoiler alert … if you’re a masochist. Because, guess what? You know what I’m going to say, don’t you?
You have to be a masochist if you want to write.
Think about it, you squeeze every ounce of your being into your work and, just when you think you’ve done enough, you reveal a piece of it to other writers. And they tear it to pieces (or so you think). Ah, the sting. Can you get passed it? Do you want to?
Now here comes the tricky bit. Do they really tear it to shreds? Or do they teach you something more of your craft? And how do you know if you should listen to every bit of advice?
Well, ask yourself, is the other writer helping your book become the best it can be? Or is their advice tainted with jealousy? Are they familiar with your genre? Do they have their own agenda for what they think your book should be? Or do they give you free rein, without pressure, to turn your book into what you envisage it to be? And by no pressure I mean not harming your ideas or voice. Instead they teach things like show don’t tell or point of view etc.
Is that the end of criticisms? No siree! Then there are editors and beta readers. They will no doubt read your book and point out a wealth of niggly sections that no one else noticed. All in an effort to help you create the best book possible.
Crikey, that’s got to be the end of it? That would be a negative. Not if you want to put your book ‘out there’. To make this leap, at some point a writer shift their mindset to an author’s mindset. Because the last barrage of criticism comes in the form of the public.
So when I say you have to be a masochist, I wasn’t exactly right …more like the Superman of masochists.
I’m fortunate to navigate the valleys of kryptonite with nurturing critique partners. Are you lucky too?