I think I’m turning a corner on my long and winding road.
I have been trying to improve my writing, and I’m doing okay with that. But there comes a time (like right now) when I really need advice, input from other people who know more than I do and are willing to help me. The former is easy enough to locate, the latter not so much.
See, I’ve found that most people, as nice and friendly as they are, are only interested in investing time and effort with people who can do something for them. Being new, not extraordinarily talented, and with a very small following, I offer little to potential “friends” (Writer friends, that is.) I don’t mean this to be offensive to my facebook “friends”, who are indeed very sweet and fun. But there is a difference between being friendly and having a friend. I guess what I’m craving, really, is more of a partnership, or (ideally) a mentor situation.
Anyway, after several rejections and writing-relationship-fails, I have decided to go all-in with a critique community website. I have tried Critique Circle and Scribophile. I like them both, but right now I’m doing more scribophile. It just seems friendlier.
And there’s the crux of it: I like friendly people. I’m generally a very happy person. I treat everyone with kindness, and I expect the same in return. But what I need, as a writer, is cruelty. Well, not meanness, but brutal honesty. So I try to find people who will be as cut-throat as possible, I seek out the harsh. (Did you red line most of my MS? Then I pick YOU!) Then, when (surprise!) they are rude, I feel hurt.
I guess it’s unrealistic to expect someone to offer honest, brutal criticism of my work, while still being nice and friendly to me as a person. Maybe that character combination doesn’t exist. So I’m doing the only thing I can. I’m writing, I’m trying, I’m offering my critiques to others, and taking critiques of my work. So far, so good!
In other news, I spent a nice day at the beach alone yesterday. This is the first time I’ve been to the beach alone in nine years! (Since my daughter was born) It was slightly overcast but very warm, and as the waves picked up some surfers came so I got to watch them (bonus!). I sat, with no kids asking questions or bothering me, and read The Salisbury Key by Harper Fox, one of my favorite authors, so all-in-all I had a great day 🙂