Memorial Day morning someone stopped by our place for a visit. During the course of our conversation, our guest brought up my newly published book. They’d read it, and wanted to get two additional copies. Can’t remember who said what next, but the next thing I knew, we were talking about several things they’d wished I’d done differently.
I genuinely wanted to hear their thoughts, because after the dozens of times I’ve been over that manuscript, revising, editing, deleting, correcting, etc. my brain has become jaded. Back in 2008, I’d shown the first chapter of my rough draft to someone else who considered themselves a writer of sorts. After I listened to their input, I ended up with a writer’s block for three years. 😉
Lessen learned. Be very careful with whom I share my rough drafts.
As we sat at our kitchen table Monday morning, my guest told me he wished I’d spent more time talking about such and such. Then later in the book, he wondered what book it was he was reading? I seemed to be spending much more time talking about certain people than I needed. I’d included the lyrics of a song by Alison Kraus half way through the book..He felt that I’d stolen the thunder for the story it was supposed to be introducing, not to mention, in the song, the story happened on a mountain, whereas, in my book, the incident took place on the plains…..
My guest is a thinker. I like him.
I said to him, “Where were you a year ago???!”
“Next time, I write something, I said, I would love to get your feedback.”
I may have taken some of his suggestions into account if we’d had this conversation a year ago, but at this point, the book is what it is.
I was thinking more about our conversation this afternoon. Before submitting my final (11th) revision to the printer, I had eight different sets of eyes perusing all or parts of my earlier drafts.
Eight sets of eyes.
Some specifically, looking @ basic grammar and others, giving input on readability and flow.
I gave it my best shot and I’m thrilled with the end product.
I’ve never had a class in writing.
Not that I wouldn’t be interested, but it would really depend on who was teaching.
I do read books and articles on the topic to improve my skill. Couple of years ago, a young woman with a bachelor’s degree in writing spent a few afternoons trying to mentor me, but other than that, I am a work in progress.
Are there still details I might change, after listening to my latest guest…?
And maybe not.
Last night, a quote by Theodore Roosevelt kept coming to mind.
” It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is not effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory or defeat.”
Thanks to all of you that stop by this blog and interact. Work is currently taking up most of my creative energy so I’ve not replied to several of your comments like I would normally do.
Good night 🙂