So you've decided you want to write a book. You sit down in front of your lap-top and you pound away at the keys. Oh God, you're a genius! The words just pour out of you. The hero is the perfect man. The heroine is the perfect woman. Their story is hot, romantic and compelling. After a few months of blood, sweat, and tears, you type 'The End.'
Your friends and family read it and tell you how good it is. Someone tells you about RWA and you join. You get word of the Golden Heart and enter your masterpiece. As you anxiously await your perfect scores, you join a few writing loops and discover critique groups. You're warned about having a thick skin but you don't need one. Your work is perfect. You send in chapter one, and wait for the shinning admiration of the group.
The first one comes in. The critic hates it. She tells you to throw the whole thing in the garbage and start over. But hey, what does she know? This person doesn't know great work when she sees it. The second critique comes in and it's worse than the first. Then the third, and the fourth. You start seeing phrases you've never heard of. Show, don't tell, head-hopping, passive voice. You go back to your writer's loop and ask about these mysterious phrases, and that's when you get the wind knocked out of your sails. Rules, writing has rules. You go back to your masterpiece and realize you broke all of them on page one.
You attend a few workshops. You learn about the rules, and that some of them can be broken. You want to slap yourself silly when you re-read your first manuscript. Did you really write about your hero's throbbing manhood?
You realize that writing is hard is work. But you still want to do it. You develop the thick skin. You know there's always room for improvement. You even learn to give a few critiques yourself.
Months go by, and you've grown as a writer, but you know you still have a way to go. You know there are no guarantees. You'll get rejections and not every chapter will be great. Humility is your middle name. You are now a writer. Unpubbed, but still a writer. And you will never forget the journey. Especially since your Golden Heart scores just arrived in the mail.

2 comments:

testing

Been there, done that.

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A dreamer. That's how I would describe myself. Come to think of it, that's how most people would describe me. It's one of the reasons I fell in love with paranormal romances. I live in Atlanta, Ga, with the man of my dreams. We met in Korea while serving in the armed forces and after a two month courtship, got married. We've been together 21 years.

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