I write to keep me sane. I write so that my words may outlive my life. I write to find redemption

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Peeking through the fingers that covered my eyes

When I first decided to write a novel I thought that was all there was to it. You sit. You write. Time passes. (How much I never really pinned down though I remember doing mad calculations. If I write 1,000 words a day then in 100 days I will have a novel. If I write 2,379 words a day then in... I was never very good at math and completely useless at keeping to schedule so those Words- Per- Day schemes never did much good in the end.) Anyway, you write and then re-write and then you have a novel.

But as Robert Frost wrote in my favorite poem,

knowing how way leads onto way,

it was not such a straight path from blank page to finished first novel.

The most terrifying moment on that journey,so far, was the second before I clicked open the e-mail that contained my first critique of my writing.

I belonged to a different writing group then, New Writers Chat at yahoo groups. I hadn’t started the group and I hadn’t been there at its inception. I was the new girl on the block, in writing and status at the group. I had no idea what to expect to hear about my work.

In that period, I was trying hard to craft a Harlequin Intrigue style romance. I would read them and try to match my writing to what was in the book. I was so green I could of been grass.

Biting my lip, I let my mouse move toward the email and then away. I said a prayer to God. My stomach knotted, my brain was yelling “Why did you ever do this? This is a disaster!”

With a muttered, “Here goes,” I opened the email.

My eyes skimmed over it quickly, looking for some line that equated “You suck! Do you call this writing?”

It wasn’t there.

In fact, the person had been encouraging. Sweet joyous relief flooded through me. The words in her critique didn’t make me a writer. But that was the start of me developing my thick skin that all writers need to face rejection.

It was not in the words of her critique that I found my new tool in my writer’s arsenal. It was in the act of facing a possible rejection that I learned I could survive it, and that I felt the pride that came with taking my place in a long line of scribes who had done the exact same thing on their way to publication.

Note- This post was written for Fiction Scribe's Blog Carnival. Head on over and show her your support by taking part. She has one of the most informative blogs online for aspiring writers.


  • At 4/04/2007 04:21:00 AM, Blogger Suzan Abrams, email: said…

    Hi Sara,
    Your writing journey, documented in passionate vivid detail still inspires me after all this time.
    love always

  • At 4/04/2007 05:55:00 AM, Blogger Marie said…

    Thanks for sharing this, Sara.

    There's no getting out of it if we want to pursue our writing dream. We have to be brave and put it out there. We can only learn to be better writers by sharing our writing with others.

  • At 4/06/2007 07:39:00 AM, Blogger Clockworkchris said…

    Reading this blog keeps me interested in trying to develop a short story, I think I just need to find the topic that fits me best. Thanks!

  • At 4/06/2007 11:20:00 AM, Blogger Suzan Abrams, email: said…

    Dearest Sara,
    Thank you so much for the link for my 2nd blog. I've added your url to my list of links there as well. I do get different readers for challenges like Sunday Scribblings,so you never know.
    But thank you Sara. For your friendship & all else.
    DBA Lehane is back. I had missed him so much. His new blog is on my sidebar called View from the Windscreen or I've announced it on my blog in the latest post. You could click in there if you wanted.
    much love.

  • At 4/10/2007 09:13:00 AM, Blogger TJ said…

    Thank you for your visit to Write Words and leaving your kind words.
    I believe that we can all gather energy from positive comments. Write...write everyday and share.
    You will grow, you can not stop that.
    Peace TJ

  • At 4/15/2007 06:39:00 PM, Blogger Kilroy_60 said…

    The written word has power indeed, but it does not compare with that of writers who come together and share ideas.

    Will you be carnivaling with us this time around? It's another FREE FOR ALL; so you can pick your favorite post.

    Your support would be appreciated. 8-)

  • At 5/01/2007 04:34:00 PM, Blogger Susan Helene Gottfried said…

    Hi, Sara. Here from JM's carnival; I can't believe she's doing this with the wedding so close!

    Nice piece; I remember my first critique -- it was in a classroom and it went really well. I was hooked.

    In fact, I miss those classes. The casual attitude we all had, but the amount of work we got done. Not even grad school workshops can compare with those early ones.

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