There comes a point when we must go beyond thinking that we are brilliant writers because:
- I am a legend in my own mind.
- My mother says I’m a great writer.
- My dear friend that doesn’t want to hurt my feelings says I’m a great writer.
- Seriously? Have you read this? I. AM. BRILLIANT.
The real test of whether or not we are good writers begins when we allow other people - who do not feel obligated to smile and tell us we’re brilliant - to read our work and tell us what theyreally think. For me this was a very scary prospect.
I know what you’re thinking. The goal of being a published writer is to have people read your work. So it’s ridiculous to be nervous about posting your work online, joining a critique group, or sending out queries. Yet these necessary activities create anxiety – and sometimes terror – in many writers – including me.
I put a toe out in the water a few years ago when I visited a critique group back in Ohio. The experience was a good one, but I didn’t try it again for several years. Earlier this year I joined a local critique group with a wonderful group leader and dedicated participants. I remain a part of the group – though an intense travel schedule the past few months has kept me from participating. Things will be back to normal soon so I look forward to participating with the group more next year.
My primary focus early next year will be editing and revising a novel I finished earlier this year. I want to begin sending out agent queries for this novel by the second or third quarter. Early next year I will be looking for critique partners – a daunting, but essential task – and a couple more Beta Readers.
Dealing with rejection is hard. The disappointment of never achieving my dream of being a published author of women’s fiction would be devastating. I am no longer hiding behind my fears and insecurities. I am ready to commit to the dream 100%. This will be an interesting journey with lots of ups and downs, but I am ready for the ride.