Monday, August 6, 2012

Just Do It

I allowed a day to feel sorry for myself last week after withdrawing from my critique group because our long distance relationship wasn't working. It was ironic, actually, after my previous post below on support in which that group had played a major part. After all I had done to keep our live critique group going, it surprised me that some where not more willing to put up with the inconveniences of my temporary separation from them. Sigh.

It got me thinking about those who lose theirs or have no support group at all. Some deal with anti-support. I know of a dedicated writer whose family members tell her she wasting her time. How do we cope with that? How do we stay strong? Has the Olympic athlete who comes in short of a medal wasted all that time? Of course not!

Believing in one's self is reinforced as we meet milestones and receive small validations along the way. It's harder when you are the only or main one giving that validation. There has to be stuff inside us that gives us the guts and drive to do our best at what we love, living without regrets, in spite of someone else's measure of success.

Here are two quotes worth posting near your computer that could spur you on:
"That which we persist in doing becomes easier, not that the task itself has become easier, but that our ability to perform it has improved." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"The whole idea of motivation is a trap. Forget motivation. Just do it. Exercise, . . . (writing a book), . . . or whatever. Do it without motivation. And then, guess what? After you start doing the thing, that's when the motivation comes and makes it easy for you to keep doing it." -- John C. Maxwell

Please share your inspiration. (Then get back to work!):) And thanks for visiting!


Brock said...

For the record...

When I was living 200 miles away (but coming home from time to time) it seemed quite impractical to me to expect people to critique my manuscripts when I wasn't going to be there to receive the verbal comment (most valuable) or to give verbal comments in return. But when I was there, even when I didn't submit anything myself, I critiqued other people's manu's. The good thing our writing group does is not pointing out comma errors (as could be done via email) but the face-to-face conversation about emotional responses to writing. Incidental comments about spelling and punctuation (the usual email comments) are really the smallest part of useful critique.

Further, Renae, I think your manuscript HAS been thoroughly critiqued, revised, and critiqued again and again by our group, and is quite ready for submission. To spend further rounds critiquing and revising would be superfluous as an editor will only call for further redundant revisions. The manu has won prizes as it stands. You have an open invitation to a major publishing house, so use it.

Love ya!

The Damsel In Dis Dress said...

Thanks for this! I'm teaching on critique groups at the League of Utah Writers Roundup next month, so I'm gathering all sorts of experiences with them. I appreciate it.

Inklings @

Renae W. Mackley said...

Thank you for these comments. We all learn from our experiences.
Point one: If all I gave or expected from an online critique was commas and punctuation, then I would agree with Brock 100%. I tried to give a comment everywhere something popped into my head about it as I read. This to me is valuable feedback. Live feedback is the ultimate as it leads to collaborative thought and direction. That does not discount the good feedback that can come from one read-through.
Pt. two: Lest others interpret differently, my submissions included the reworked climax scenes--the most vital of a story--with significant changes. Not unlike what everybody else submits. This is all I felt I needed before submission.
I apologize if this post offended anyone, my critique group especially. They are great and I hope to be able to return to them later on. Just trying to keep it real; sometimes we deal with disappointment.