Monday, August 22, 2011

You DON'T suck!

Last week was WriteOnCon. If you missed it...shame on you. I mean, go register and check out the awesomeness. It should be posted for a long time :)

I have a TON to catch up on. The week was packed with unexpected things and I fell way behind. But not until I had this experience.

I debated whether or not to post anything in the forums. I knew agents would be lurking and I knew that my MS wasn't 100%. But I also knew that it didn't matter if it wasn't all the way ready. I was looking for a critique, not a deal. So I posted my first 250 words. 

And who was the first person to comment? AN AGENT!!! They were fast too. They commented almost instantly.

You know what they said?

"You can cut all of this."

My first reaction. "I SUCK."

I closed my laptop and wanted to throw it. I questioned why I ever decided to write in the first place. 

Eventually, meaning a day or two later, I realized something. 

I don't suck. I've worked on this thing for months. I've spent all my time and energy writing and revising. And even if I don't ever get it published, the whole experience has gotten me one step closer to where I want to be. 

And really, the agent wasn't saying that I suck. What they were really saying was that I started in the wrong place. I just took their advice the wrong way.

So my advice today is to take criticism. Don't let it get you down, though. Not for too long anyway. Turn it around and learn from it. You know the saying, "No pain no gain?" Well, it was painful for me to hear that my first 250 words were worth cutting. But after I read over it a few times, I realized the agent was right. It was boring and definitely not needed.

And my beginning is that much better now. Maybe not perfect but certainly one step closer to awesome!


  1. I so know that feeling. I got a story back from my professor of an MA creative writing class recently and I basically read all her comments as "I suck". I even emailed her saying I was discouraged. I gave it another day and looked at her comments again. They totally didn't say I sucked. Not even close! I think sometimes we read what we think people are thinking, not what's actually there. Good for you for persevering.

  2. good job posting your work. That is a brave thing to do!

  3. I'm glad you didn't let that comment get you down. I know it's hard. And I'm so glad you mentioned WriteOnCon. It sounds so cool! I'm definitely going to get on next year!

  4. Great job for putting yourself out there. It isn't always easy to do. Congrats on making your work even better too. WriteOnCon was amazing.

  5. Great advice. Especially in the writing field, you have to be ready to be heartbroken. Just remember that it isn't personal. And you are awesome. :)

  6. You are so right about this! I posted in the forums for the first time at Writeoncon. It was terrifying and exciting! An agent commented on my first 250 words and gave me some great feedback on how to make it better. I'm so glad I participated now.

  7. You made a wise decision! And hi, I'm in your campaign group. Nice to meet you!

  8. Wow, great post! I admire the fact that you were able to take the tough criticism so well! kudos to you :)

    haha, and I thought the puppy at the end was a nice touch ;)

  9. Great attitude. I approve. It's all part of the learning experience, right? :)

    Looking forward to getting to know you for the Platform-Building Campaign!

  10. Who's awesome?? ....You are!! Way to turn it around and see it for what it really is--advice to help you hook in that reader. And that's what we all want, isn't it? Can't wait to campaign with you, chickie!!

  11. Hey- we're in the same YA group!
    And you don't suck- I've read proof.

  12. Hi Michelle -

    Great post - WriteOnCon was awesome, for sure! And you know what? Yeah for you for taking this piece of critique and turning it around. And in the end, if it makes your writing stronger, it's all worth it!

    Looking forward to getting to know you better - looks like we're campaigning together!

  13. Michelle - Good for you for finding the silver lining. WOC was pretty awesome.

  14. Thanks so much everyone! I'm not always this optimistic. Remember how it took me a couple of days to realize this. Yeah, it was a hard couple of days. Really thought about ending the writing. But I'm SO glad I got over that. Thanks for all the support!

  15. This is a great post because we've all been there. And by "there", I mean in that "I suck so bad" land. But, you're right. You just started in the wrong spot and needed someone to tell you that. Now, you know and you're that much ahead for it. So glad to be campaigning with you!!

  16. Nice to meet you fellow campaigner. Happy to be on the same team. Loved the puppy pic.


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