Writing is hard. Inspired thought is beautiful. Mix them together and it’s doable. Is that a word? Yes it is, so stay with me, I’m going somewhere with this. I love to write. I’m talking about when I wrote my manuscript on my encounters with the paranormal. Initially as my fingers clacked on my keyboard it felt joyful, therapeutic almost. Then, after I put together the interesting jumble of words, came the hard work. I scratched my head and thought what next? Will anyone want to read my story? Can I really do this?
My inner critic woke from her slumber at this point and proceeded to list all the reasons why I was not intelligent enough, articulate enough, or interesting enough to write anything that anyone would want to read. (Or publish for that matter, she really laughed her head off at that prospect.)
I found an editor online and sent off my first three chapters. I received the damning critique, agreed with my inner critic she was right after all, and put the manuscript away. It lay there for over a year before I picked it up again. But this isn’t the end. If I didn’t believe in myself, my husband did. He picked up the manuscript one day and our conversation went something like this:
Husband: “What happened to this? Aren’t you going to finish it?”
Me: (sulking) “Humph, no, there’s no point.”
Husband: “Why not? It’s pretty good, you need to keep writing.”
Me: “That editor really slated me, she hated it.”
Husband: (laughs) “Isn’t that what critiques are for? If you didn’t get on with her, why don’t you find someone else?”
Me: “hmm I guess I could. And she did have a point, I suppose I could make some changes…”
And there it was. The seed was sown. My first batch of criticism really dented my confidence. I guess I needed some time to lick my wounds and pick myself back up. The story was amazing but my style needed tweaking. I rewrote it again, and found editors I got on with. I’ve rediscovered my passion for writing and gagged the inner critic. Writing is bloody hard work, time-consuming, and you sacrifice a lot to get there, but it’s worth every second. I was lucky, I had my husband to encourage me to keep going. Well hey, it’s my turn to encourage someone now, and it’s you.
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