Friday, January 29, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
By the way, I received two rejections in two days.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
On another note, I was thinking this weekend about how cool it would be to have a writer's group. Publishers and agents are always telling new writers (though old ones can benefit from them to) to join a writer's group so that they can get feedback on their work. I did some groups as an undergraduate and graduate, and really enjoyed the feedback from other writers. Although, there are some inherent problems with these groups. First of all, every writer writes differently, and they tend to bring their own style to a critique. This usually manifests itself in how one writer would word a certain scene, and how another would word the same scene differently. I'm not saying that this is bad, but it could possibly change the voice of the original author. The second issue is that you can't please everyone all the time. For one person, they might love a particular scene, but another person might find that it slows the story down. You get a big enough group, and every person will have a different perspective on every aspect of your work. If the writer is new enough, it might be hard for them to filter the criticism. After all, this is their audience and what they want in a book is what the author should write. Of course, on the other hand, the author might feel like their work doesn't need any improvement and that their peers just don't get what they're trying to do. While writer's groups can be beneficial, the author needs to know what criticism to keep and what to ignore.
As I mentioned earlier, I would love to be in a writer's group, but I'm lacking the one thing that is essential to critiques: time. I work a full time job, have two kids under the age of 5, am a freelance writer for two publications, and am trying to write novels and short stories. While I would love to read other people's work and have them read mine, I wouldn't be able to devote my full attention to a project. It makes me sad. Perhaps when I finally get my big break and become a full-time novelist, then I'll have a chance to be in a writer's group!
Friday, January 22, 2010
"Those are things you should have done before you sent it out," I can hear you saying. Don't get me wrong, I had people go through my book before sending it off, and I went through it with a fine-toothed comb also. The people who read it before looked at it for content, and I tried to catch every mistake, but I'm too close to catch everything. Plus, I'm human. It's possible that I should have had a technical edit done before I sent it out, but I'm sure that if it gets accepted somewhere, another editor will find other things that need to be corrected. If it goes through this round with more rejections, I'll probably have to rewrite the entire thing (then it will have to sit for a year because there are a limited number of agents who accept horror and I can't query them again in just a few months!). That's the thing about submissions, rejections, and edits: they are never done. But if you're serious about your craft and you really want to get published, you will do what you have to do.
I do realize, of course, that it may be all about timing!
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Other than that, I've been trying to get caught up on my other writing. I've been working on an article for the serial killer magazine I work for, and I always have articles to do for the agricultural magazine I write for. I'm gearing up to do another short story, so I have enough to keep me busy for a while!
Thursday, January 14, 2010
I think the music industry is a lot like writing: it is a very subjective field, and it only takes one person to say yes for you to get in the door. I'm no stranger to rejection, and I know a lot of times the person rejecting you won't tell you why. But you have to get to a point where you say: maybe this isn't good enough. For the girl on American Idol, I would think that after 10 rejections she would tell herself, "I need to do something different." I know I would. Then, I would change what I was doing, go on 10 more auditions, and if it still wasn't working, change again. It's not easy to be told "no," especially "no" with no reason behind it, but you have to learn from it and move on. The arts are difficult to break into, and you have to be flexible. I'm not saying you have to compromise, but you have to be able to go with the flow. And you have to be able to take criticism from people in the business who know what they're talking about.
For both singing and writing, you can always get better with practice. But you can't get better if you don't have honest feedback. Your friends and family are usually always going to tell you you're good. But that's not the type of feedback you need. You need honest opinions from objective people, which is why publishers tell you to join critique groups. I don't know about singing, but I'm sure they tell you the equivalent. Criticism can be harsh, and it can be hard to hear, but if you want to improve, you have to listen. Most of the time, publishers or record producers aren't criticizing you to be mean (although it can seem like it at the time), they're telling you what you need to do to improve. It just blows my mind to watch these people on the show get rejected and cry about how the judges ruined their dream. If it's really your dream, you will take their advice to heart and go out and improve.
It takes a lot of courage to stand in front of a judge and sing or to send your work out to be published. But it takes a lot more to listen to the advice of the professionals and figure out how to incorporate that into your work. I imagine many of those people on the show go home, sit in a pool of self pity, and never sing again. I know because I've been there with my writing. Rejection wears on you after a while, and many times I've wanted to throw in the towel, but I didn't. And, I learned a lot in the process.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Monday, January 11, 2010
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Right now I'm feeling extremely overwhelmed because I haven't had block time to work on my book. I work on it when I can; in snipits here and there. I'm sure that if I have a chance to just sit down and work on it for a while, I won't feel so anxious. I don't have a deadline of when it needs to be done, but I've been putting it off for a long time, and I just want to finish it.
Everything will be just fine, I'm sure of it, and I'll let you know how it goes!