Saturday, October 1, 2011

we need each other

This past week, I read a wonderful article by Atul Gawande about the importance of coaching. When we do anything for a long time, we become zoomed in, unable to view it objectively. His main question: who says that years of doing something means that we can't receive external criticism? In my med school, we receive feedback every three weeks on how well we contribute and synthesize knowledge, work with others, interact with patients, etc.

This concept applies to writing as well. Of course there are those writers who disappear for months from society, to an exotic beach, and prefer to remain isolated. But how easy is it to become so absorbed in your work--in anything--- that you can no longer see its flaws? One of the many reasons I'm anticipating feedback on my novel is because I'll finally see (and be able to correct) the gaps it has.

Connecting with others also teaches me how much I have to learn. For example, Laura helped me realize that I didn't even know the different between Young Adult (typically ages 13-18) and Middle Grade (8-12)! It was embarrassing, considering how much time I spend in the world of fiction. But I'm glad I could refresh myself on all the genres (children's, middle grade, young adult, upmarket, adult, etc.).

So, yes, I wouldn't get far with my writing if it wasn't for the connections I've established with other people. Isn't that one of the many benefits of blogging? Making that bond with other people who share the same goals, struggles, and victories?

On a final--and overdue-- note, Laura, my fabulous critique partner, had an interview on Open Beast magazine. She talks about her writing inspirations, cute love story, and more! Congratulations, Laura!!

7 comments:

  1. That's a big benefit! I found my three critique partners online. I found support for my book online. And I found a community that really pulls together.

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  2. You're very right.. I've learned so much from everyone here, and the support and encouragement is priceless.

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  3. It's incredible how supportive the writing community is, isn't it? I love that.

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  4. I love how supportive and welcoming the writing community is! Can you imagine how it must have been ten years ago, without such an easily accessible network of warm, friendly people all over the world?

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  5. I really appreciate an outside point of view with my writing, but for some reason still haven't learned how to deal with it gracefully in my personal life! And yet, after the hurt fades a little, I am thankful for family and friends who point out flaws I could never see on my own.

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  6. I agree about the connections and outside perspective. As a writer, you know too much to see ALL the flaws in your work.

    And off to visit Laura's site. I always thought I knew the difference between MG and YA, but recent study into it is showing me different. :)

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  7. The online community is so helpful. I found all of you wonderful writers/friends online.

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