And Back Again: I Write Anyway

I bring my work forth
Blooming in the hot hard street
Lotus in asphalt

Well, that’s a tad melodramatic, but you get the picture. The reason you haven’t heard from me all summer is that I finished a piece in the spring, had it critiqued, made the changes, was delighted with the results, and sent it to the contests to see how it would do.

It was roundly hated. By everyone. I mean Everyone. Comments ranged from the kind-but-negative, to “good for a first effort” (it is probably my 20th script, and the 30th rewrite of that) to the “don’t enter this contest until you learn how to write a script” snarky meanness.

It’s hard to write anything after that, even a grocery list. It threw me into a phase of “not good enough, never good enough,” and so, over the summer, my blog posts were written, rewritten, edited, redacted and scrapped.

And now I am back to the drawing board. I mean, how can I do better than the best work I’ve ever done? I’ve analyzed the problem from a lot of different angles and come up with several takeaways:

1. I can’t not write. It is part of what I do and who I am. So I will write anyway. But it breaks my heart to know that some of my stories will never be told – not because I didn’t write them, but because no one thinks them worthy of an audience.

2. Take more classes? Wow, not really an option right now, financially. Wish I could.

3. Change genres. Probably a good bet. Recently I read that a writer who sticks to one genre does better (because her practice at that genre makes her more proficient). Therefore I will, in all likelihood, go back to doing the stuff I am better at. Like ending sentences with prepositions.

And that’s it. Be on the lookout for the blogs to return. Know that I will share the writing success (or not) with you, and if I can find out why (or why not) something is successful, I will share that too, so we can all be better writers.

Have you ever had criticism of your work that made you feel like quitting? What did you do?

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