Monday, May 22, 2017

An Angry Sponge That Stands Up For Itself.


I can remember from younger days Damon Knight's warning that listening to other people's advice on writing can really screw you up...
 

I have literally had to leave certain writer's groups. 
I was sitting there, reading how perfect these authors were so sure they were and seeing them tear apart other people in order to "help". I'm not sure anyone needs that kind of help. If you aren't great, you probably know it, and the good news is that is not a fixed thing. It might take practice, or a good professor, but how good you are is not set in stone. I know I'm not good enough to ever turn down those learning opportunities. But, perfect is not a thing indie authors are going to reach. No amount of belittling will change that.

It might not be a thing any of them reach, but the more money you have, the closer the copy, proof, and smoothing editors can get you. But that kind of perfection in the independant world is often chased and seldom fulfilled. 
It doesn't mean you don't have a worthwhile story.

For awhile I was pretty paralyzed, and even withdrew my first book to be released again after another edit. But the fear of failing, of never having perfection was just immobilizing. 

I had to let that go. And I had to silence the critics. I had to do that in order to try to write again. 

I can't hear that kind of talk from a distance, which is where you should hear it. Growing up how I did, I am still fighting being a sponge. You learn to absorb everything in a toxic home-you learn to walk into a room and soak in the mood to determine safety. You do it to survive and because they are telling your repeatedly that this is what you should do-be this absorbant, catering creature. 

Don't do that in your adult life. 

It's a slow process to shut that off, and until I really can, I find I just have to get out of places where negativity is being thrown around like water balloons.  

Maybe I'm still a sponge, but I'm an angry sponge that stands up for itself now. 

Also, don't let this put you off trying new writing groups. Some are the most lovely people you will ever meet and some suck lemons, you just have to try and see and be willing to leave when it's not working for you. 



 

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