Tuesday, April 30, 2013

What's the point?

I’ve discovered that a successful writing journey includes joining groups, networking, conferences, workshops, and classes. Being a people person, joining groups is easy for me (except there is a fee involved to join most groups). I love the camaraderie, support, encouragement, and yes, even the critiques.

Last Saturday six of us CWOWers (Christian Writers of the West, local chapter of ACFW) joined together to read aloud five pages of our current manuscript or WIP. Reading aloud was a suggestion from literary agent Steve Laube at a mini-conference we all attended in January.

First of all, these ladies are delightful and diverse, especially diverse in their writing genres. One does YA, one does mystery and espionage, one does suspense with a bit of horror, the other does biblical fiction, and one does historical romance. I like to think I do transformational fiction. Now, if any of the dear six from Saturday are reading my blog, that is my take on your genre. If I got it wrong, forgive me. With only five pages to glean from, it’s what I grasped.

My point to this is: What’s the point? If we aspiring writers go to such meetings or groups, what do we want to accomplish. If we get defensive or resent someone’s critique of our work (no, that did NOT happen at this meeting), then what’s the point of our participating in such groups?

When I had time to assess and analyze all that had been said, I grabbed my laptop and began to implement some of the ideas and suggestions I’d received from these ladies at the meeting.

And that, my fellow writers, is the point! Don’t get defensive! Analyze, research, and ask God to enlighten you as to what will improve your craft. If improvement comes in the form of criticism or rebuke, don’t take it personally. Hard to do? Of course. Writing, our WIP – work in progress -- is our baby, our creation, our heart and passion. Everyone should love it like we do, right?

Wrong! But don’t give up. Believe in yourself, follow your heart. And may God be with you and guide your thoughts and ideas.

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