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Thursday’s Children (#ThursdaysChildren): Inspired by Critique Partners

As many of you know I’ve been attempting to write my first novel for nearly two years now. Just the rough draft. Ugh!

I started writing short stories. I’ve even had a few published. But the idea of the novel overwhelmed me, even to this day.

Yes, I’m a slow writer and I have my doubts. A lot of them. But with the encouragement of my #WriteMotivation friends, I’ve managed to get near, VERY NEAR, the end of this first draft.

But I’ve stalled. And stalled hard. And I don’t know how to get out of that funk. I haven’t written anything on it in the last month. The ending is eluding me and I don’t like it.

For the last two months I’ve been CP’ing a few books. I really love the writing and the stories I’ve read so far. I have also found that I continually compare my work to theirs. My rough draft of my very first novel, to their however many drafts of however many novels. I feel inadequate. I feel clunky. But I also feel inspired. Inspired to write more, to better my story, and do what I dream.

Critiquing others work isn’t the only form of inspiration I’ve encountered either. Having my work critiqued by my critique partners also brings inspiration…once I can get through that instant slam of hurt. I think we all have it. I just came out and said it. 🙂 But it’s there.

When we send out baby out for others to read, we always want the reader to love it as much as we do and tell us our writing, our story, is the best. That’s what I call my emotional brain. It takes over and is generally crushed when I see that first negative comment.

OMG They hate my story. OMG they hate me.

This simply isn’t the case, and I know it. It’s just the initial reaction I have. You have it too, don’t you? Admit it. Don’t make me think I’m crazy!

I have to let that emotion stew. Actually I have to let my emotional brain argue with my logical brain, and vice versa. I have to MAKE my logical brain win out. Sometimes it’s a short argument, and sometimes, well…not so much.  But I know that I will get back to writing in the end, and I know that the negative comments really aren’t negative. They are there to help me better my writing, better my story.

Critique Partners, no matter which side I am on, is always an inspiration to me.

So why is it that I am still stuck?


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  1. Ping from Kristina Perez (@babelbabble):

    I agree with Rhi. Don’t act on the feedback right away. Wait until you have some emotional distance and you can sift and sort and figure out what works for you because in the end, it’s your story!

  2. Ping from Paula Harvey:

    I sooooo feel that way after letting someone else read my work! You’re right about that initial slam of hurt feelings. But it’s good that you’re able to see past your feelings and remember the goal of improving the story so that it can be shared with as many readers as possible. Congrats on your writing and I think there’s no big deal about writing slowly, that just means it’s going to be a really awesome story!

  3. Ping from Mia Celeste:

    Sometimes being stuck is a natural thing. A pause to recharge. For me, if I do something else I like to do, suddenly a solution will come and my writing will resume. Perhaps that will work for you. Or you might consider asking your critique partners for suggestions. Thank you for sharing so candidly.


  4. Ping from Patricia (@patricialynne07):

    Yup, I admit it. I feel slammed and crappy when I get my WIP back and see it covered in red (or sometimes it’s purple or green – I have no idea how to change the color in Word. lol!)

    Sometimes when I get stuck in my writing, it means the previous scene is wrong. Try looking back at what you’ve already written and see how it sounds/feels.

  5. Ping from sugaropal:

    Yes, I think anyone who isn’t an absolute ego-maniac feels some “sting” when faced with feedback that isn’t “don’t change ANYthing”. Maybe you’re stuck because you haven’t figured out what to do with the feedback – whether to make suggested changes or not, or maybe the suggestions from different CPs/betas contradict each other, or maybe they’re more along the lines of “this needs work” or “I feel lost/bored/confused”. My suggestion would be to let the feedback marinate for a few weeks, see if it spurs thoughts of your own. As for not having an “ending” to your book, the very first book I tried to write died because of that, I finally pulled life support and let it drift away peacefully. With every book since, I’ve had at least some idea for the resolution, even if it ends up changing along the way.

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