Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Success Story

One of the blogs on my daily reading list is Writer Unboxed. Several writers contribute and there's always a good mix of writing tips, interviews, and other writing news. One of the contributors recently signed with an agent and her post gave me renewed inspiration.

Read her story here.

Writers talk about needing a thick skin to deal with harsh criticism and rejection, and I've often wondered how I'll deal with that negativity. So far, whenever I've received suggestions, they've made sense. I have one reader who didn't seem to get what I was trying to do with my story, but other than that, most of the negatives have been things I already knew. My problem with commas, for example.

Yesterday Erica Orloff posted about needing honest critiques if you ever expect to move forward and I realized I've already grown a thick skin. I've been a graphic designer for twelve years and clients can be pretty rough with their opinions. To them, it's not your baby that you've worked on for three days, it's their latest ad and no amount of talking will convince them it'll work. So you start over. You edit. You revise. It's all part of the game.

Same with writing.

Yesterday I tackled a new design project: wedding albums. I've never done anything like it but figured I have a good eye and could stumble through it. Once I figured out the software I really enjoyed myself. Best of all, my friend/client loved what I'd done. Talk about validation. The past several projects I've worked on have been highly praised and my inclination is to tell myself that those people just don't know good design, but when a photographer tells me it's good, maybe it's time I accepted that I might know what I'm doing.

Just a thought.

11 comments:

WendyCinNYC said...

I tend to get indignant about the rejections--at least form rejections for short stories in lit mags. I know it's all part of the deal, but that's how I cope. I have thick skin when it comes to constructive criticism, even if it's blunt, if it makes a story better.

spyscribbler said...

Of course you do! :-) Silly. Gosh, I just wrote a whole post about finding my inner confidence. I am just way too much of a worrywart.

You shouldn't be, though! That's a lot of experience you have.

Janna Qualman said...

Hooray for the design project! Well done. Is there a link you can give us, so we can see your work?

Thanks for sharing the story about the newly agented writer. Those are things I need to see right now. :)

Turkey Lurkey said...

Yes, you have all the abilities. It's your own inner critic that needs to be put into perspective. :)

Melanie Avila said...

Wendy, I have a feeling I'd be the same way. What do you mean you don't want this?! Hmph!

Melanie Avila said...

Spy, I think you inspired this post a bit. You and Colby keep posting about things already on my mind...

Melanie Avila said...

Janna, I can't send anything out now because it's still password protected. Once the client approves it I might be able to figure something out. Worse case, I could screen capture a couple samples to show everyone.

Melanie Avila said...

Turkey! Are you back?!?

So true.

colbymarshall said...

Sometimes I deal with the rejection well, other times I shove oreos in my face or write downer blogs...who knows. All I know is that rejection isn't fun, but it's part of it that's here to stay.

Zoe Winters said...

Hey there, first time visitor. Saw you over at Erica's blog and was curious about what blog of hers inspired yours.

I feel you on the comma thing. I'm completely comma retarded and every time I go through a draft I'm like "OMG thank God I caught that one. Someone's going to think I'm halfway illiterate."

Men have been my best critiquers (the spelling function says this isn't a word) so far. My husband and one other guy online. Honest and no nonsense about it. It's always appreciated.

Melanie Avila said...

Welcome Zoe! I have a male online friend critting my book now and I'm dying to get the edits back. He's known to be extra harsh and rumor has it he cuts a lot, but I'm ready for it.