I’m a little down today. Things have really been busy, but last night I got a lot of work done on my revision of Soul Cavern. I was feeling pretty good about it. Then today, I read a critique I got from a close writer friend of the first 80 or so pages. Now, I know the first 80 pages have some weak spots, as I rearranged some things, fiddled around with them, etc. I had a lot of trouble reading this critique, mainly because everything in the line edit portion was negative (things I’d done wrong, done badly, overdone, underdone… you get the idea) with the exception of one sentence. And the summary portion at the end essentially said, “The dialogue was good, but the rest of it sucked.”
Okay, that might be the interpretation of my very cruel internal editor. It was neither that stark nor that mean. And please don’t think the critiquer is bad or that I have any anger or anything in regards to it. It just really got me down.
I’m usually good at taking criticism, particularly if I think it’s warranted. But, probably like a lot of other people, I like to hear the good bits too. Tell me what I’m doing right, as well. I don’t need a ticker tape parade, but I do need a counter balance to, “Man, this sucks, you should change it.” — Even if it really does suck and needs to be changed.
So now, I’m completely down on myself and my writing because it’s such a huge undertaking, revising a novel. And I find that I really hate it. I mean, I REALLY hate it. Maybe I’m just not really cut out for it. But, either way, it has to be done and it has to be done rather quickly, because I have to have it in to my mentors at SHU around the first week of April. And now I need to go back and look at the first 80 because it sucks even more than I originally thought. But tonight, I have to find a way to get through this grey fog and go back to Chapter 7 and work on the revisions and try to convince myself that they don’t suck too. Because, for me, if something is just going to come out crappy, I don’t see a reason to waste time on it.
So, how do you keep going when you’re convinced that everything you’re putting down on paper sucks?