Nerves and Critiques

Published September 7, 2010 by LS Murphy

This time last year, I decided to commit, to take myself seriously as a writer. I had a few novels written but I didn’t bother to really try to sell the first. After all, nobody wanted to read another vampire story no matter how brilliant I thought it was.  (It isn’t by the way but, at the time, I thought it was.) The second, however, was my “masterpiece”.

I found a great critique group and jumped in feet first.

While my masterpiece was anything but, I have spent the last year learning from this great group of people as I completed and revised and edited yet another novel, all while screaming and pulling my hair out. We usually only bring a few pages to each meeting which always gives me insight into the writing but I needed something more this time. I needed someone to read the entire mess that was/is driving me insane.

Fortunately, I found a volunteer. Last week, I nervously sent Jonathan, my newest bestest friend, my mess for his viewing and critiquing wisdom. We didn’t set a time for him to return it to me. I didn’t want to rush it and I need as much space from the manuscript as I can get.

And now I can’t stop checking my e-mail. (Which should surprise no one.)

The thing is, it was harder for me to send Jonathan my manuscript than it was to e-mail a query letter to an agent. First, because I know him. Second, because I’m going to get feedback and that is surprisingly scary. I should be used to it by now. Somehow, this feels different.

I’m always full of doubt when I bring my pages into the group but I suddenly, without even looking at the full manuscript, decided that it is way worse than I think. My mind has frozen over a few chapters in the middle that I haven’t even  looked at since I hit that send button. I’m determined that they suck. I’m convinced that my friend will look at each page and wonder why in the hell I think I can do this.

I am an overly caffeinated nervous wreck.

But I have to wait. (Checks e-mail.)

I have to wait. (Checks e-mail.)

I need this practice of patience. (Checks e-mail.)

And I don’t want to be pushy. (Checks e-mail.)



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