I Don’t Have Issues … I Went With The Supscription Package

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It seemed like a better deal at the time.

About 2 years ago, the writing reawakened after an extended hiatus. Not sure why, but it did and I certainly wasn’t going to kick the muse out the door just because she looked different. Before that moment, I’d always thought of myself as a one-genre girl. Well, the muse decided otherwise and out spewed a contemporary romance of about 300 pages.

That’s a lot of work to just chuck out the window because it isn’t a piece you normally do in a genre you aren’t familiar with, even as a reader.

So, about a year ago I sent the romance manuscript for a critique to a woman I met online on the selfpublish yahoogroup. I’ve never met this woman. I had no idea of her writing style or preferences. Apparently, she spent time in a literary agency, running manuscripts through a suggested change editorial process. The company folded after the owner retired and this lady has decided to try and make a go of it herself as an author. She hasn’t published yet, but hey, neither have I.

It was early summer when I made the acquaintance of this woman. We traded ms’s and my children immediately absconded with my attention. I get my crit of hers done, dash it off and she sends mine back, but at this point, we’re looking at getting ready for school, so it gets put on the back burner.

School starts and I stare at the ms files she’s sent back. Some of the little things she mentioned in our emails irritate me, but we’re talking about critique, so one needs to grow a thick skin. I know this, and I also know she’s not trying to be a troll or anything.

But the memory makes me pause.

“I’m still too close,” I say. “I’ll work on the fantasy ms, get that through round 3 edits and come back to this.”

Around Halloween a brand new story I hadn’t been looking for hits me upside the head and demands I write it. 350 pages later, I realize this is a trilogy that I’m writing (minimum), and while I know where I want to go for books two and three, getting there is going to be more of a challenge. I need to research stuff, but I need to finish something else, first.

I stare at the files she sent me, unopened.

Still too close.

I need to finish the first project, I say. Clear my plate.

The fantasy b2d3 project is done. I start writing another romance, but I founder. I need to go back to the first and get the timeline and the names straightened out. And the formatting. And while I’m at it, there are a few little details I want to add here and there.

I get that done. I still don’t quite feel ready to go back to the other manuscripts. I really need to look at the crit notes for that first one.

I stare at the files, unopened.

Chickenshit, a voice pops up in the back of my head. Here you are, giving advice about taking and giving crits, and you can’t walk the walk.

I should be able to. This is nothing. If I were to publish it tomorrow I might get a few good reviews, but I would also get a number of stinkers as well. Some people will just not like your work, no matter how good it is. That’s just how it goes.

This isn’t a negative review. This is a crit. This is someone saying, “I read it and these are the things that jumped out at me that you may want to consider addressing.”

I stare at the files, unopened.

I complain about my inability to work up the guts to view them to my husband. I should be able to do this, dammit.

“You could send them to me and I’ll read them and tell you what’s in them before you do it,” he offers.

No, I tell him, because I know how this works – he won’t read them in a timely fashion if they aren’t printed out. And they’re my crits, dammit. I shouldn’t have to have someone filter out all the hurtful shit. I should be able to read it, cry a little and then say, I agree with this, but maybe not that. It’s one of the many marks of a professional to be able to do that.

I stare at the files, unopened.

Oh, Jesus, Ishtar and Buddha. Just open chapter one.

I open the file with my eyes closed. I open my eyes and quick glance at the page and turn away before I can read the highlights and commentary. There are comments everywhere on the ms she sent back.

I switch to writing this post. I dump out my hot chocolate, use the bathroom, find my favorite watch, put on a wool jacket.

Oh for the love of every god that has ever existed in the history of mankind, woman! Just pull on your big girl panties and. Deal. With. It.

I get through three pages and open my own version to compare and address things I can agree with, if only slightly. It isn’t too bad. Of course I believe there are comments of hers that are flat wrong, but a crit is an opinion piece and she’s entitled to that.

Just like me.

See what other writer’s have posted today at the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.


About kattywampusbooks

A SAHM with delusions of literacy.
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5 Responses to I Don’t Have Issues … I Went With The Supscription Package

  1. doreeweller says:

    You can say all the right things, but when it comes down to it, a critique is still a critique, and they still hurt, even if you “think” you’re ready for them.


  2. aandj8804 says:

    I love have cries done of my writing. I always feel like they will help me to become better at my craft. Don’t worry so much about what she’s saying – worry about improving your work. That’s what the crit is for right? 🙂


  3. Ha ha! Loved reading this. It’s new for me simply because I guess I’m addicted to critiques now. I learned a long time ago that critiques make my writing better. However it took a little longer to sink in that I didn’t have to change things based on every comment. Like you said, it’s their opinion.

    Now I breeze through taking things into consideration, changing things I think are valuable and dismissing the comments that didn’t make any sense. Although, I think about those too. What if I just wasn’t clear about something earlier on that caused their confusion? You know, that sort of stuff. But the truth is some people aren’t going to “get” everything. That’s why I have multiple critique partners and beta readers. If they all point something out I know it’s a problem. However, a lot of times one person will love something that confused a different reader. *shrugs* You’v got to keep things real, and reading is so subjective.

    Good luck with all your projects! I was one of the co-hosts this month.


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