1. Cressida
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    Cressida New Member

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    Good Morning

    Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Cressida, Apr 14, 2008.

    Good morning All,

    I thought today would be a good day to start my public journey to become a better writer. I been compelled to write my whole life and have never really shared my work with anyone, other then teachers. It just feels to personal sometimes to let others see what is in your head. But I figured that if I was ever going to be better at what I love to do people would need to be able to read and critique my work. Be gentle, I am an sensitive and cry easily.

    Hopefully I will gain some great insight into the process and perhaps some friends as well. Being a writer can be lonely.

    Cressida
     
  2. Mr Sci Fi
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    Mr Sci Fi Senior Member

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    Welcome,

    The first time you show off a piece to an audience is the most grueling. You find yourself very overprotective of the work and the first negative comment and critique you see can throw you into a spin of depression and self-doubt. You may try to defend your work, but please resist this temptation. Live out the next few days in utter defeat, then rewrite it.

    Eventually, the negative critiques start to bother you even less and less, until eventually you are just so used to them that you are otherwise unaffected. In fact, you grow to a point where you value them above praise, and would rather see suggestions of improvement than praises.

    I honestly hate it when I show my work to friends and family and all they say is, "This is so great!" It drives me crazy. Then I usually come to a writing workshop and the comments of, "Yeah, this dialogue is stilted," or "I'm not getting to the root of your antagonist's motivation," or my personal favorite, "There's too much telling and not enough showing." (Even though the entire thing is wrought in imagery.) And I feel a whole lot better.

    Honestly, these internet workshop rejections are small time compared to rejections by editors. But like an initial critique, you grow used to those too. I have my rejection letters attached to my refrigerator by way of magnet. Mother is so proud!

    You'll get used to it, and grow more comfortable with showing off your work. I promise. Hang in there, and welcome.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Hello Cressida, Welcome to the Writing Forums.

    The best defense against hurt feelings is to actively participate in reviewing other people's work before posting your own. That way, you will better understand that the process is not to tear down the writer, but rather to find the weak points that nearly every piece of writing contains, and to suggest possible improvements.

    If you haven't explored the site yet, you should probably do so soon. Newcomers often gravitate to the Lounge, the Word Games, or the Review Room, but there is much more to be discovered if you poke in the corners. Remember to check out our FAQ as well!

    As for the Review Room, new joiners often wonder why we do things a bit differently on this site than on other writing sites. We emphasize reviewing as a critical writing skill. Training your eye by reviewing other people's work helps you improve your own writing even before you present it for others to see. Therefore, we ask members to review other people's writing before posting work of their own. The Review Room forums on this site, therefore, are true workshops, not just a bulletin board for displaying your work (and on that note, please only post each item for review in one Review Room forum). See this post, Why Write Reviews Before Posting My Work? for more information.

    Enjoy your stay here, and have fun!
     
  4. Kit
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    Kit Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi Cressida, welcome to the forums :)
     
  5. nburwell
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    nburwell Senior Member

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    Dear Cressida,

    My name is Natalie. I am very sensitive about my work as well. In my heart I know that it is brilliant and it is mine and no one else's, but when someone says that slightest thing about it, my heart skips a beat hoping that I didn't read their words wrong. Perhaps they didn't have the same exact idea as me and all of my work has been for nothing, or perhaps they didn't say that they thought my character development was too shallow. My characters, who live with me and with whom I talk every day.

    You have to remember that someone's review is only their opinion and that it is not solid stone. Other people may have a different opinion and that person's opinion may change after they read the piece again; they may have misunderstood or read the piece to quickly.

    At first, sharing your work is one of the most difficult things you can do. It is like walking out on the street naked waiting to see what people will say. You check the board every two minutes to see if someone has replied and if they haven't, you get disappointed. Once they do, you hope for a great review, because you love your work so much. But if it's bad, your heart sinks to levels you never knew it had.

    Your writing is your soul and it is your natural instinct to defend it. When people review your work, they are only saying that it could use some change. They are not necessarily saying that it is bad. They are telling you ways that you could change your work that might make it more appealing to everyone else.

    When I first started writing, I was only writing for me and my characters. Then I had to make a conscious decision to write for other people, for the world, and to make it so that my writing would be for them to read. Not everyone makes that decision, but my point is that if you are writing so that the world will read your work, these people are helping you get someone else's opinion on it, which is important if you will be giving your work to other people to read.

    Embrace every review and look at them as help and support instead of criticism. People are not consciously trying to stifle you or hold you back, they are actually trying to help you.

    I want to wish you a big, warm welcome and let you know that there is someone else here who knows how you feel. If you ever need anything, don't hesitate to PM me or email me. I hope you enjoy your time here.

    Hugs,
    Natalie
     
  6. Darkthought
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    Darkthought Active Member

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    Hello and welcome to WF. If you are into RPG and stuff like that, check out the one I just started. Its called Flight of the Icarus. Thanks!
     
  7. Oasis Writer
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    Oasis Writer Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hey there. :) Welcome to the Forums.
     

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