Tuesday, October 9, 2007

A little goes a long way

So, I posted the first chapter to project #2 on Absolute Write's critique board, to get some initial reader reaction. And the first person who critiqued it said it was "Nearly brilliant". This made me feel all gooey and glowy inside. In fact, it's days later, and I still feel pretty darned good!

And this got me to thinking how one single word or phrase can have such a drastic effect on a writer's self-opinion. All it takes is one tiny bit of praise to make us fly high for a week or more, and one itsy bitsy criticism to send us spiralling into the realm of "I will never write again." In some cases, we even stick with it, hanging up our pen and parchment and slinking off into the sunset to lead mundane lives.

I have no idea what this all means, but it was the thought that was creeping around my brain today, in amongst my other familiar neurosis. (no, I still have no idea if the e or the i is plural. At this point, I'm refusing to look it up out of sheer spite)

I think I found a happy solution to chapter three today, and reworked four and five as well. Five may or may not be done, but I was at the nitpicky point when I left work this evening. None of those three chapters have reached the word count goal I'd set for myself, and in true anal-retentive form, I'm fretting about it. It's a sheer act of will, now, to force myself to just write the damn story, and see what I've got at the end before I start freaking out.

4 comments:

Sam said...

It doesn't just happen with writers. The right blog comment, or link, at the right time, can be a huge mood-saver, for me. And it happens more than I'd care to publicly admit. A good comment, though, on an actual writing project? That has to be immeasurably better!

And the (oddly typo-prone) editor in me HAS to tell you that the plural is the "e".

Marilyn said...

Yes I completely agree with you and sam. A really good, nice, positive blog comment can make my day too. Blogging is such a big part of my life and to know that people appreciate it and the work that I put into it, is truly rewarding.

VirtualWordsmith said...

Words have great power. If someone wants to know my opinion, I am very careful to pick and choose the best words I have available to me.

Nancy said...

A comment like that -- either on a piece of writing or on a blog post -- would be a huge boost to my ego as well. :)