Ah, the fragile egos of hopeful writers

Those who follow this aptly named blog know that I am a writer – a writer who exhibits creativity, opinions, wit – and hopefully some talent.

I also belong to a local writing group.  Well, it’s a matter of opinion if I belong or that I am a member of a writing group.  It is a place where I can network with others interested in similar genres, where I can volunteer my technical skills, my organizational skills, and yes, feel like I belong.

Many members of our group enjoy the opportunities to learn from guest speakers, to network, to socialize before and after meetings.  One of the frequent questions people ask each other is “So… what are you working on these days?”

pen and paper

One wise, older member whom I respect but rarely see at monthly meetings recently sent a link via email, to a New York Times article.  The title is “Don’t Ask What I’m Writing”.

One item that caught my attention was this:

“One might wonder why — besides their own pathetic need for reassurance — writers would ask others’ opinions at all. It’s an interesting question; the answer comes down to which writer you ask. Though it may be a failing on my part — the sign of an overweening ego, or a fragile one — I’ve never understood writers who workshop their stuff with their 50 best friends, then rewrite in view of their criticisms.”  

Read the full article here:  http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/24/dont-ask-what-im-writing/

I think there is a balance between keeping writing projects to oneself and sharing with a trusted few.

One issue I have is the difficulty accepting feedback that questions my characters’ words or actions.  My reaction to early criticism of my novel in draft was  “You don’t know my characters! How dare you claim that’s not something he/she would say?!”

Ah, the ego of a writer.

So… what are you working on these days?



About shewrite63

I am Theresa. I am a Mother, Grandmother and intermittent writer. I published a bittersweet novel in 2011 under the pen name of Florence T Lyon. I am also a real life survivor, community volunteer, Archives and Records Management graduate, and long-time IT support worker trying to keep up with technological changes. Can't eke a living off of my writing skills - yet!
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2 Responses to Ah, the fragile egos of hopeful writers

  1. Ask yourself what Shakespeare would have done or what J.K. Rowling does. I think they just write.

  2. Steve Vernon says:

    The great thing about writing is that there are very few rules that you absolutely HAVE to follow – beyond maybe that whole “using words” thing and the “occasionally making sense” guideline – not to mention the single most important divine commandment “Thou shalt not bore”.

    The fact is some writers THRIVE on feedback. Some writers need whole platoons of Beta-Readers and Crash-Test-Grammarians etc, etc, etc.

    Other writers are rugged individualists – which is another way of saying that they are too chicken-shit to hand their early drafts around.

    Is one approach better than the other?

    Oh no, oh no not one bit. Saying that “this way” is better than “that way” for ANY one particular writer is a sure recipe for jihad.

    Still – I will likewise tell you that some of the very best works I have ever created – and some of the most profitable – were created AFTER several arm-wrestling matches with some of the most cutthroat editors my publisher could throw at me.

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