I once knew a writer who held back his best pieces, even when he had the opportunity to present them before a Pulitzer award winner.  As the years passed, he actually held back most of his pieces.

Hopefully, this “holding back” mentality will work for him, and in the end, he’ll knock it out of the park and force me to eat crow.  But I’d rather go with the opposite approach.  I’d rather bare my soul time and again, do my best time and again, and let my weaknesses wither away under the harsh light of scrutiny.  It may hurt in the short term, but in the long term, this will give me an accurate idea of what I need to fix, and will only make me stronger. 

I believe that getting better at writing is akin to exercise; the ceiling for “your best” starts to raise on a consistent basis, and you soar to greater and greater heights.  The idea of the “perfect piece” drops away, and then writing simply becomes an exercise in free-flowing harmony.


17 thoughts on “Musings

  1. You need to choose who you want to please carefully. Writing by its nature is subjective. I do not mean shop critics until you find one that likes you. Rather be objective about the market your critic represents.

    I talked with a writer of teen fantasy. She had several successful books that I would not read because the characters were way shallow and the plots were so obvious. But that’s what teens wanted, something scary and romantic. You have written science/fantasy/tough guy stories. You might have to find out who has been successful in that genre, and ask who they go to for reviews, and maybe solicit some “war stories” about their experience as a writer. Nothing helps more than having good mentors.

    Another pitfall is reputation. You might experience an, “oh no, here he comes again,” with someone who found weakness in your prior writings. A person who is asked to review writers is likely to have limited time. They may talk to other reviewer and pass along judgments like, “don’t waste your time.” Experience can create bias, pro and con. Unless there is some demonstrable difference, you might get a cursory review, or at some point, refusal.

    I am not one to give advice, but I have been around enough people to pass on what I believe is human nature.

    Liked by 2 people

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