Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My Maniac Tendencies

So, on Sunday I heard back from my critique partner about the last few chapters of my WIP. Two words: HOORAY and OUCH. If you've ever had an in depth critique partner, you totally know what I mean. She seems to really like my writing and the story, but the biggest issue she found, what she got completely hung up on, was the last chapter. It had some major flaws.

Yes, that's code for: My kids were home when I wrote that last chapter.

Further meaning that I tried to write this emotional scene with a litany of interruptions.

Lesson learned.

So as you can guess, all day Sunday I was thrilled by her encouraging words while stewing over the "issues" she found. And then yesterday I drove myself crazy with "what if" and "how will I" questions. I literally had knots in my back!

Why do we as writers stress out like this? One day we think we have something great, something readers will love and then the next day we want torch it all?

 I know you guys do this too. I read your blogs. ;)

 Is being crazy-emotional about a word document just something that comes with the personality of a writer? I'm thinking so. Did the authors of the past throw their typewriters in the trash bin only to gently retrieve it hours later with love and affection? I wouldn't doubt it.

By the way, I think I fixed the problems she found, and am hoping it's great. And I think I want to do another blog post in a few days about how fantastic critique partners are because her reaction to the story as a reader, and then her advice as a critique partner have been absolutely invaluable.

But for now, tell me about your maniac tendencies as they pertain to writing. Ever throw your laptop in the trash? 


  1. I know I'm crazy, and I'm not ashamed of it. Writer's who won't cop to their moodiness are lying to themselves... or they write non-fiction. LOL!

  2. LOL! Love it! My poor mother! I followed her around yesterday while she was trying to get stuff done, and I talked like a mile a minute about how this is impossible and I hate that I'm so crazy and I did this on my last book, so this must be something I'll do on every book.

  3. You're not the only one who wants to torture your computer. I've often found myself wanting to toss mine out the second story window.

    If you didn't feel that way, I would be seriously worrying. :)

  4. Firstly, I'm so sorry for making you say 'ouch' and stress out, I think things like that are hard for both the writer and critique partner, but at the same time I'm so glad my advice has been useful to you. :)
    Secondly, love the picture of the cat and mouse, and completely relate to all you said. I'm filled with so much self-doubt about my writing and I obssess over every detail, thinking it's all wrong and will never be good enough. And like you I tell all of this to my mum- usually whilst she's trying to read the paper, haha!
    I think if a writer's not filled with anxiety, then they're not doing right. ;)

  5. You are so not alone! This whole week I've been avoiding my WIP like the plague. It wasn't really intentional, I just felt like it was lacking so much and the thought of fixing it made me tired. Hang in there :)

  6. Sean~ And it's this love/hate thing with my laptop. I adore it. My hubby tells me I should be thinking about upgrading and I almost smack him for such a thought.

  7. Charlotte~ Don't be sorry. You relayed your thoughts very well. They were constructive criticism and very necessary. Your comments have made my story tighter, and more reader friendly. That's why I want to write a blog post about the necessity of crit partners. :)

  8. Jaime~ I know! I've done that too, and then when you finally push past the avoiding thing, the words just fly out. Probably because you've taken the time to re-evaluate everything.