Thanks to my friend Tracy Farr, we have another installment of his very important advice for writers....
After you've spent weeks, months or even years on your story (I limit myself to an hour, and I'm sure it's quite noticeable), the hardest thing you, the writer, can do is hand over what you think is a masterpiece to someone who may or may not like it, may or may not give you honest constructive criticism, and may or may not still be your friend depending upon what they have to say about your story.
"Well, I think your opening really caught my attention, especially the part where the bad guy is chasing the good guy on a John Deere tractor through a hay meadow, looking to turn the good guy into goat feed, but I really think the second page was, how should I say it...it really sucked, and it kept sucking from that page to the end!"
Yes, indeed, we hope for good reviews, but way back in the back of our minds (and for most of us, way up front in the front of our minds) we fear that nobody will like our story, which means they don't like us, which means we are total failures, which means we ain't going to be buying a Rolls anytime soon...
...but we keep writing anyways because writing is not about money, fancy cars, dining with fancy stars, rubbing elbows with the most georgous women in the world because now we have access, which leads to Letterman, Leno, and Oprah, and before you know it we're under a lot of pressure to come up with a blockbuster second novel, but we can't figure out what it's going to be about, and now we have no more paychecks coming in, we've bought so much crap that we need a storage shed to store everything, especially since we defaulted on our home loan, and now we're living from day to day under some overpass, hoping that "lighting" will strike again before we get run over by a semi!
Nosirree! Writing is about writing, and if you don't have the balls to let someone read what you've written without getting all teary-eyed and suicidal, then you might as well stick to watching television and reading trashy novels from authors who DIDN'T give up!
So, it's up to you. Write, let someone read it, write some more, and continue until you're done. And how will you know when you're done?
Try poking with a fork. If the juices run clear, you're done!
Posted by Maryann Miller with Tracy's permission. He likes to share his humor here with a few more people than read his blog, which by the way is pretty darn funny. Trust me. He isn't paying me a penny to say that.
Maryann's Web site - where you can find information about her books and editing services