I just realized I haven’t blogged for a WEEK. *gasp!* In my defense, I’ve finally had enough brain cells intact to attempt editing. *another gasp!* I finished writing the first draft of my YA Urban Fantasy WIP Hidden last October of 2011. Then, as per the wonderful advice of my many writer friends, I left it to stew for a long time…well, 2 and 1/2 months to be exact. In the meantime, I did NaNoWriMo, found out I was pregnant (and named the bathroom my new hang-out place), spent the holidays with family, and read a lot of books (the published kind) from the library. I didn’t have any inclination to write or even bother with the publishing biz. My Google searches became incredibly tame–instead of searching for monsters and mythology, or ways to kill off an immortal witch, I was looking for baby names and old wives’ tales of how to determine the gender of your baby before you get that oh-so-exciting ultrasound picture.
I was in full mommy mode, and the writer in me was taking a back seat…temporarily.
But then, prompted by a friend’s ms swapping (Thank you, lovely!), I was forced (in a good way) to finally open my Word doc and read Hidden in its entirety for the first time since I finished it.
I read, and read, and read. And lo and behold, the all-too familiar tingling returned, and I knew I wanted to dive back into the writing world once more. Hence, the editing.
So here’s what I found out: I SUCK at editing my own work. Really. I’m reading the ms with the intention to spot out errors, but I get suck into the story instead and I forget why I had a pen and a highlighter nearby.
The bottom line? We NEED crit partners. Let me say that again: We NEED crit partners. Beta readers. Whatever you want to call them. We need help. We are NOT superhero writers, even if we write about superheroes all the time. Our first (and even second, and third, and possibly fourth) draft will stink. There’s no way around it.
Don’t feel lame for asking help. And, don’t be afraid to see those red marks when the feedback gets back to you. It’s okay to cringe and bang your head on the desk a few times from embarrassment, but don’t let it stop you. Mistakes and acknowledging them help us improve. Grow. Become the best that we can be. For we’re all capable of great things, we all have potential. The key is learning how to reach that potential.
So, here’s to editing and to our wonderful critique partners! *huzzah!*
P.S. Btw, sorry if I haven’t visited your lovely blogs. I tried, I really did. But for some reason, Blogger won’t let me leave comments or open up blog pages, no matter how many times I try to refresh them. Hopefully, it’ll get sorted out soon. 😉