Getting Comfortable with Critiques

Six percent of writers, according to a poll on Critique Circle, are most comfortable keeping their manuscripts in the drawer, sharing them with no one.

At least I’m not alone.

And yet.

I love the joy of discovering a book so good that I can’t seem to put it down, while at the same time wishing that it didn’t have to end. On the good writing days that is what my stories feel like to me. If I could share my creations, and make someone feel the same way I do, I would feel I’ve given something back.

That part of my journey was to begin with getting critiques of my work, as well as learning to critique other writers. I’m getting quite comfortable with the latter, but as far as getting my own work critiqued, I have stalled after one submission. I’m up to my elbows in revision I told myself; I have no time for line editing what might be cut in block revision anyway.

The other day, however, I received an email in my Inbox.

‘Your story has been critiqued.’

What? Story? There must be some mistake. I haven’t submitted any stories.

But there it was, a heartfelt, in-depth, inspiring critique from a writer whose soon to be published novel I’d had the pleasure of critiquing. Ivan Borodin, whose novel ‘Pandora 2011: Accounts of the Cursed Shopping Mall’ is due out this fall, had taken it upon himself to look at my sole submission and provide insight into a story I had all but forgotten.

Having rediscovered the value of an excellent critique, I used his and the other fine critics’ suggestions to complete my first revision of this chapter. I posted the revised version for the world to see, and I plan to start preparing other short submissions.

Really, I will. Even though I will probably forever remain among the six percent of writers most comfortable stuffing their manuscripts in a drawer.

(Photograph courtesy of ‘jeltoski’ @ morguefile.com.)

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