Last night I received an e-mail from a person I’ve gotten to know on-line over several years of communication. This person is a published author and actually offered to read my novel and give me his opinion of how it was going.
He did not pull any punches but was polite in how he said it stunk. After he pointed out a few things I actually saw the break of good and bad. Although I don’t want to blame the migraine on the crap of the writing, I can actually see where things changed and even how word choices began to be affected, and not in a good or positive way.
Mentor, as I will now call him, though he will probably read this and cringe (hey, you are the one who wants to remain anonymous dude!), gave me some excellent advice which, of course, I will take. His advice is as follows:
- Recover. Treat me nice for at least the remainder of October and start back to serious writing in November.
- Read. Even if this means listening to books. Reading will keep words active in my head and also work as research. “Writers read as much as they write, maybe more so,” Mentor said.
- Relax with a hobby and just let my mind wander. If it wanders to the story, great! If not, that’s fine. The story hasn’t gone anywhere. The first draft, which he read, is still present and isn’t bad, but needs tightening and is a good ‘outline’.
- Get a notebook/journal just for the story. When I actually begin using it I’ll explain it then.
- Put this draft into a trash file and label it .5 – some of the things may be useful later. Even print it off and put it in a notebook if I want.
- Mentor reminded me to continue to act like a professional because no one is going to take me seriously unless I take myself seriously first. “Just don’t take yourself too seriously and become a pompous ass, sweetheart.”
I think all of the above is pretty good advice and I am going to work on sticking to it as closely as I can.
Here is hoping everyone has a fantastic day and your writing and/or work projects are successes!