Why Do I Put Myself Through This?

Last night, I took the rough draft of my novel synopsis to my critique group where it got thoroughly shredded. 021

I expected it.

As I write this post,  The Whites Stripes, Catch Hell Blues comes on my iTunes playlist. And, I quote: “If your lookin’ for hot water, don’t act shocked when you get burned a little bit. If you really want some hot water, I can help you find it.”

Yeah, at critique group, and definitely don’t go if you can’t take the hot water.

I laugh because it’s exactly what I was looking for, but I still question why I put myself through this. I can think of a few:

Because I enjoy having others scrutinize and disassemble my work (yeah, no, not really, well maybe, hmmm . . . )

Because conflict is my friend (and I like my friend).

Because “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.” Friedrich Nietzsche -or, in this case, what doesn’t kill your story, makes it stronger.

Because, and this is in the case of my synopsis, I want to enter a contest and the stupid thing is required (at least they reduced it to 3-4 pages instead of 8).

And, most importantly,

Because I want my work to be as good as it can be for the reader.

599075_398594130238481_1470735836_nSo here’s my question. Do you put yourself through the ringer for certain things? What are they and how many hoops do you jump through?

See you next week, probably battered and bruised, but that synopsis is going to get written. ~ RG

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9 Comments

  1. Jody said,

    March 27, 2013 at 17:42

    You go girl! You are one tough bugger.

  2. Janet Baltz said,

    March 27, 2013 at 21:26

    We can be the black-and-blue girls together!! I’ll take what you learned and hope for less battering when I float mine.

    • RGCalkins said,

      March 27, 2013 at 21:28

      I hope I learned. I’m still trying to figure out how to everything I need to into 4 pages. But, there are some things for me to cut and things to add, so maybe all is well.

  3. March 28, 2013 at 21:43

    Vampire Syndrome didn’t make the finals in Colorado Gold in 2010, 2011, or 2012. It was published in January 2013.

    One Colo. Gold judge said my protagonist was too cognizant to be “special-needs.” Every one of my readers who has a special-needs family member has said my character’s POV is right on the money. Guess whose opinions matter more to me?

    Three years of participation in Colorado Gold was a great learning experience, but the moral here is that a writing contest is not the final arbiter for one’s work.

    • RGCalkins said,

      March 28, 2013 at 21:49

      I agree Daven. I’m looking for the experience and feedback, which I will take with a grain of salt.

      Haven’t reached your book in my TBR pile (well, virtual pile), but I did buy it and will get to it soon.

      My daughter worked with special needs adults. One of the most rewarding experiences of her life. She would agree with you and your spc. needs families, as I’m sure I will.

      And, did you see the story about the young man with Downs that runs his own restaurant?

      • March 28, 2013 at 22:21

        I posted about Tim’s Place on my blog, thank you! 😀

        Jack was inspired by a special-needs man I’ve worked with for over twelve years. A wise, intelligent, cognizant man, I might add!

  4. March 30, 2013 at 04:18

    Congrats on have the courage to go out there in the first place. I know I wouldn’t.

    I always feel incredibly shy and anxious when my writing is read by people who actually know me; that’s one of the reasons I prefer getting critiqued online.

    • RGCalkins said,

      March 30, 2013 at 08:10

      Thank you.

      I know a couple of writers who exchange their work online for critique. It works just as well.

      I’m not shy, but I am an introvert. However, I do enjoy getting away from the computer and interacting with other writers.

      Good luck with your writing! RG


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