My Great Dream: My First Bad Review

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Welcome aboard to 2015! I hope its smooth sailing ahead for all of you with plenty of wind to make a sojourn fun. Unfortunately, I have yet to come up with a year theme for WPmusings or give much thought to future blog series. My sincere apologies, you ALL matter to me and I hate to disappoint. However, like a diligent warrior, I had to direct my focus to my literary baby and finish what I started.  If you recall, 2014 was the Year of Completion: the only way is through. My ultimate goal was having the first draft of the novel 100% complete by January 1st, 2015. I had to push that deadline back to January 5th, but I am thrilled to report the manuscript is printing while I am typing this post. It will be safely in my hands tonight and I will be distributing ten copies to the next round of readers tomorrow.

As for the draft (75% complete) I sent off in November, I have received feedback from only two people thus far. One was very positive and an instant fan of my work already inquiring about the idea for my next novel. The other was from an older gentleman, an established academic and literary critic, who wrote me a two page letter that put serious dents in my armor. The letter was filled with strong words and strong suggestions, culminating in the advice to not reread or revise this edition of the story but to instead throw it out and begin anew. He also told me he could not empathize with the main character. This is essentially the worst possible feedback a writer can receive. If a reader doesn’t empathize with the main character then, as a writer, I have failed them – essentially it’s game over. And, even though I knew I handed him a shitty first draft, I thought it was at least Grade A, high quality shit. Not the kind you just discard, throw in the fire and forget about. In two pages, he politely dismissed five years of my life; five years of hard work, sweat, tears, and bloody battle wounds.

However, I asked for frank and honest feedback. And, he definitely gave it to me frank and honest. I respect him for this but will be respectfully NOT taking his advice. As my wise cousin so eloquently put it, “One man’s Dickens is another man’s Poe.” I guess I am earning my writing stripes, growing tough, thick skin and learning how to deal with dejection of rejection. At the end of the letter it read, “Thank you for interesting me with your creation.” At first this line really annoyed me but I remembered my warrior princess promise: the same as I make to gentleman callers, I will not bore you. The rest is engage at your own risk. At the very least at least I’m living up to my word.

Out my face,
A Warrior Princess

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5 comments on “My Great Dream: My First Bad Review

  1. Pamela Groves says:

    Congratulations!! At so many levels. Pain and Passion keep us moving forward. P.

  2. Auntie Jean says:

    Embrace the constructive criticism which only makes you better (or so I am told)…react in a way that reflects your adaptability and resilience…in the end, your literary baby will surpass YOUR expectations which is all that matters.

  3. Carls says:

    It is good to keep perspective and not little one thing or person sto halt your progress.

    I believe one part of being an artist is trust in yourself as your express yourself thru your medium. Which is the beauty and strength since as an artist your exposed thru your medium.

    We don’t resonate with everything we touch but when we do resonant together it is amazing.

    Congratulations on reaching just one of your goals.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Old Same “you can’t be a ballerina” but no one has said you “can’t be a writer”! You finished your first draft and that’s what you are now. There will be lot of criticism and a lot of praise in your future. I’m fairly sure you can handle both 😉 Of course the praise is always better received but the haters gonna hate… You will move on from this too. Mwah

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