Thursday, March 16, 2017

Are You Writing With Blinders On?

I have worked with a lot of writers who, when they send in a project to an editor for some comments, or even when they send it to me, respond with comments such as "Wow! I didn't see the story that way?" This is not that they had a different direction to the story and felt the comments from the me or the comments from the editor were wrong. They simply just missed some things when writing.

This is an all too common problem a lot of writers have and this is really one of those benefits many authors have when they are working with critique groups, agents and editors, and not doing it on their own. Having someone on the outside look at your work is one of the most valuable tools a writer has when it comes to improving their careers.

It is crucial that you do not go out and attempt to improve your writing on your own. Sure, there are blogs, articles, books and workshops you can attend, but you are still looking at your writing with blinders on. You will take this information and shape it around your writing, instead of molding your writing in a direction that will truly enhance your writing.

I do have to say a couple of things about this though...

First of all, please note that the feedback editors and agents give you is just one more set of eyes. Does this mean that the answers they provide are 100% perfect? Not necessarily. That is part of the editorial process though. Just because they give you that feedback does not mean you have to take it exactly as it is. If you see things another way, they are more than willing to listen. BUT, with that said, remember that they are more in touch with the market than you are so the odds are, they might be on the right track. Still, listen carefully.

When it comes to critique partners, this is the area where you have to really be careful. There are a lot of people who want to help, but this does not mean that they are the best people. Know their qualifications, listen to what they have to say, but then filter that information. Again, this does not mean they are wrong, but, if they are just as out of the loop as you might be, you may find yourself in the situation of the blind leading the blind.

I think the point of all of this is to find people on the outside who can give you a fresh new perspective. Sometimes, listening to those ideas is a great way to find those holes that you have been overlooking for so long.

Have a great weekend everyone. I am now off to celebrate my birthday being a stable dad for my daughter all weekend. Go Dad and Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!!

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