Continuing Sharon Overend’s conversation on the benefit of writing groups, as featured in CBC Radio One, the road may be bumpy (at times) but it will lead to your village.
Every once in awhile, I think I should, must, no other option available, quit writing. It isn’t that I don’t want to write, it’s that I think I can’t write well enough, basically that I suck. On my really dark days, I worry I’m like one of those contestants on a reality talent show who thinks they’re the next Adele only to be told they’re delusional and shouldn’t leave their day job
Recently, I had one of those days after having submitted my latest work-in-progress to my critique group. When word came down—go back, it’s not good enough—no hyperbole, I was DEVASTATED, CRUSHED, a snivelling, whimpering puddle of pathetic doggy dodo.
Never before have I worked so hard to come up with—what I believed I was hearing—such a shitty piece of writing. How could this be? How could I have gotten it so wrong? I’ve quit my day job to…
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I feel exactly the same way after finishing a wonderful book and also receiving one of mine back from a publisher with …”not for us… too many historical details” –
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Sorry to hear that! That’s very frustrating. It seems to me that they could have easily said not enough historical details. At the Oxford HNS conference, I remember the late Carole Blake speak in a panel about what publishers were looking for and she expressed her frustration – they wanted a fresh new concept, but they were rejecting fresh new concepts. All I can say is keep trying!