I think many of you know that I'm a teacher by day. English teacher in fact. But I have the good fortune of keeping in contact with several of my students as they graduate, head out for college and the world.
I recently had a student who worked really hard on a paper. She is a gifted writer naturally and already had an nature work ethic built into her character, but just decided to chase the writing dream and is trying to raise her own bar.
When she got her paper back, her reaction was of frustration because she didn't the grade on it she wanted. She did what any frustrated college student did and vented a bit on facebook. We talked it over a little but her frustration was still apparent.
Then I read several blogs talking about how agents are cruel, editors like to see people suffer, etc. From what I can tell the difference between my student and several people on the internet is length of work and age.
There is only one way to improve as a writer, and that is to learn the art of biting our tongues, marking up our manuscripts and taking criticism that is truly meant to help us improve.
Sometimes it hurts. Sometimes it's annoying and frustrating and hair pulling maddening. But so is parenting, training kids (and/or pets), music, art, science experiments, cooking attempts (lemon meringue pie here I come!) and pretty much anything in life worth pursuing.
If we truly want to be writers, other people are going to have to be involved. Period.
What are tricks you have learned when critiques are difficult to hear? What has made the biggest difference in your improvement in the writing?
And, most importantly, are there any tricks to not ruining a lemon meringue pie!?! (Freaking out a little...)
Hope everyone has a fantastic Thanksgiving and that your Black Friday excursions are full of polite people and lots of money saved :)