Monday, February 16, 2015

The Worst Critic

As a writer, I know that I will be thrust into the eyes of critics.  At least, I hope my work can travel far and wide enough to be seen by people who critique my work.  It could happen and I will have to prepare myself for the absolute worst.  Alas, no one can top the thoughts of my very worst critic ...

Myself.

Gosh, I am the hardest person to please when it comes to my actions.  It is especially worse when it comes to what I write.  I write and re-write and then I even delete.  I'm horrible.  I'm a book lover and I read so many amazing books that when I sit back down to work on something of my own ... well, I hate everything that comes out of my brain.  My grammar doesn't seem right, it's juvenile, it's too old for the character I am writing. It's just not as good as that book I read, etc.  I am vicious when it comes to looking over my own stuff.  Even when I finish something and feel amazing about it ... it only takes a few days for me to peek back at it and hate every word.

It's a sickness and there is no cure.

Where is all this coming from?  Oh ... a little issue of me sending "Until Forever" my 4th finished book off to the editor for her to rip apart.  Suddenly, I am hating that book.  I hate everything about it! It's dumb.  It's not the amazing love story I was trying to write.  And, I am expecting a scathing report from the editor.  But, it's OK.  I am expecting it.  I will accept her advice and suggestions and I will tear into that book and make it better.  In the meantime, I will be imagining all the horrible things she will say about it.  Let's hope she isn't as mean to me as I am to myself.   Cross your fingers for me.

It's weird, this editor thing.  I know it's all part and partial to the whole publishing process but, it's nerve wracking, it's worrisome.  It means more work on something I had hoped to be done with.  And, in the end, it still doesn't guarantee that the book will be published by an actual publishing house and distributed to bookstores.  Nope.  That journey up the mountain still lies ahead. 

Yep.  I am going back down the literary agent path.  Once I am finished completely (after I get the edits back and set to work on fixing it) I will work on writing the ultimate query letter.  I will sell myself down to the barest part of my writer soul.  I will throw myself at the feet of the agents I can find and hope and pray and knock on wood and rub rabbits feet, wish on shooting stars and go back to dreaming of the day that I will have an agent.  And ... while hoping and praying, I will have my dreams ripped to shreds piece by piece with every rejection letter I receive.

No, I am not being harsh to myself.  It's just part of the process again.  I already have several saved in my email to remind myself of how that sky high hope came crashing down around me with each and every email I received. 

It's funny, really.  When I sent out the query letters, my brain told me not to get my hopes up.  My brain expected rejections because I am a realist.  But, my heart was full of this childlike hope that this was the moment that my life changed.  The dreams I conjured up as a wee child learning to piece stories together in both my imagination and on paper could come true in any given moment.   Oh how I longed to walk through a bookstore and see myself on the shelf.  Or, to see someone in town reading my book.  Mine.  My name no longer a nothing in the great big world. 

Of course, then there was the ultimate, craziest of dreams:  My book being adapted into a major motion picture screenplay.  Actors I have long admired bring my characters to life on the silver screen.  It possibly being nominated during awards season.  can you imagine?

I certainly can.  But no one ever said I had no imagination. 

First, I have to get over myself.  I need to set aside my harsh words and let the actual critics do the talking.  I have to learn to believe in myself, to breathe my life and love into the words that flow from my fingers on the page. 

So, while I wait for the editor to rip it apart ... let me start this other story. 

In 1880, there was a beautiful girl named Sadie Banks....................

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