Quick Fix


Today is the first Wednesday of the month:  Insecure Writer's Support Group blog! The IWSG is a safe place for writers to express their fears and insecurities in a supportive environment. Join us at  www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com And don't forget to sign up for the IWSG Newsletter - it's filled with great advice written by writers for writers.
 
An intriguing question was set by the IWSG team this month: What’s the best thing someone has ever said about your writing?

I liked this question because we writers tend to focus on what’s said in order to improve things and skim over the positive comments. We need to fix that!

Looking back at my critiqued manuscripts, I was surprised to find a lot of positive comments, which I had inadvertently forgotten or ignored.

“I loved this story and wished I could write like that.”

“This hooked me from the opening sentence.”

“You CAN write.”

“I couldn’t put this down.”

Why didn’t I focus on these when I was re-writing and pulling my hair out in frustration? It is so important for writers to find balance. Yes, we must pay attention to the ‘fix it’ comments but we must also recognise the positive things said too.

At the end of this week, I will be receiving my novel back from my editor. I am under no illusion, I know there will be lots of work to do but I will also remind myself of the positive comment that I’ve already had from her:

“I loved the book...! You've thrown in some awesome twists I was not expecting!”

Drawing on the positive is a motivational tool to get the job done. What do you think?

For those of us who are sometimes dragged back by the ‘fear’ factor, here is a great quote I heard whilst I watched one of my favourite TV shows, Lie To Me:

“You have a talent but that comes with sacrifices. It doesn’t belong to just you anymore.”

I wish I’d written that!  I couldn’t have heard this more timely. My first book of short stories is being published later this month and the fear has never been more intense. But I’ve done the work, put the hours in, listened to advice and now it no longer belongs to just me. Recognising that point helps quash the fear.

Happy Writing and thank you to the IWSG for the question and for the fantastic newsletter!    

Comments

  1. Congratulations! Wishing you all the best for your book launch.
    As for the quote that you heard, it is spot on. Our talent does come with sacrifices. When we put a story out there, it doesn't belong to us anymore. That's called letting go.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Patricia

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    1. Thank you, Pat!! I hope the flood at home didn't cause too much damage. Take care.

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  2. It is always a good idea to stop and smell the (as I wrote in a poem: fresh air!) A compliment can go a long way while working on the critiques and proofreading errors. When I received my latest edited manuscript back, there were marks on almost every single page (a great thing) but interspersed throughout were little "atta girl" type comments. Balance is always a good thing.

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    1. I'll be sure to look out for the little snippets of 'goodness' in my manuscript when I get it back :) Thanks for the words of encouragement Gail!

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  3. Congratulations on your first book of short stories that will be published later this month! That's exciting news!
    It's scary to think that the manuscript you've labored over for months/years doesn't belong to you at the end of it all...
    Happy IWSG Day!
    Writer In Transit

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    1. Happy IWSG Day, Michelle. I like to think that my characters will forever be my best friends - even the evil ones :)

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  4. Hi Nicola, its such a huge compliment when people say that they wish they could write like you. Awesome. Congratulations. Now focus on that everytime you feel a writing low. Loved the quote!

    Rachna Chhabria
    Co-host IWSG
    Rachna's Scriptorium

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    1. Thank you, Rachna! I think I'm going to start a compliment scrap book to delve into when those lows come along :)

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  5. Great words of positive wisdom and feedback keep us moving forward. I love that the IWSG made this their approach today, it so inspiring. An editor's 'positive' feedback is so wonderful and means the worlds especially as the 'other' comments may not make you smile. Yes, balance is key.
    Congratulations, and all the best with your book of short stories. I can't wait to read them!
    You are an awesome writer, and should never, ever, doubt that!

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    1. Bless you, Yolanda! Thanks so much for the encouraging words. Much appreciated.

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  6. Those are a lot of positive comments. I loved that show 'Lie to Me.' Hope you hear some great news from your editor.

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    1. Thank you, Susan. The anticipation is nail biting :)

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  7. You're getting published. Yippee, Nicola. So happy for you. And I love this post. I always always always focus on the negative and miss the positive. I wonder why we humans do that?

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    1. That's what makes us human, I guess. Thank you for your words of encouragement, Karen.

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  8. Congratulations!
    That last one came at just the right time.

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  9. That first compliment? Oh yeah. I could live on that one for a month. Awesome praise, and very well deserved. You're a winner! ;)

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    1. Thanks, Crystal. And I was so happy to see that I'd won. Thank you for putting my blog link on your page. Your encouragement is much appreciated.

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  10. Congratulations! I do wonder why we don't focus on those great comments when we're struggling. The ups and downs of a writer's ego!

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    1. It is certainly the most turbulent journey I've travelled :)

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  11. Yes we need to focus on the positive more both in writing and life itself. Congrats on your success and for overcoming any failures. You are a delight Nicola and glad to see you know that despite any setbacks.

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    1. Thank you, Sheena. I'll have to relay your 'delight' comment to my husband when I falter :)

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  12. Those are some great positive comments. And you're so right that as writers we tend to focus on the *what's wrongs*. Eating up those *what's rights* is the real food we need to consume to fuel our creativity.

    Congratulations on your forth-coming book!

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    1. Thank you, Bish. I love your take on things :)

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  13. Woot! It's great to hear all the positivity with your work. That is awesome! Hope your edits go well. You've got a good attitude going into them.

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    1. Thank you, Loni. I think it's your positive energy that's rubbing off on me :)

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  14. You CAN write. I loved that one.

    When we're reading critiques it's a lot easier to focus on the not-so-good comments. When I critique, I always point out what I love first, and I always make comments to show what I enjoyed throughout the story. I hope that makes it easier for the people I work with. :)

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    1. I do the same when critiquing, Chrys. It is so important to point out the good things. Generally, they far outweigh the bad.

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  15. Best of sales! Let me know if you would like me to do a post on your book of short stories. :-)

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    1. Thank you, Roland. I will probably take you up on your offer :) I'm still waiting for you to take me up on my hosting offer too. We must do that!!

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  16. I think it's human nature to focus on the negative things. But this is a good reminder that we do receive positive feedback that can keep us going when the insecurities hit.

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    1. I loved the question posed by the IWSG team. Made me think. Thanks so much for popping over, Sherry. Always great to see you.

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  17. It's important to focus on positive reviews too...we authors are people after all, and need the encouragement:)

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    1. We are delicate creatures :) Congratulations on your new FB page, Mark!

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  18. A few days after each of my crit group meetings, I go back and transcribe some of their written comments into my manuscript so I don't forget them. And every once in a while I'll get some positive comments I had totally forgotten about. Always a pleasure to read those in a crit.

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    1. Glad you keeps notes, Ken. If it's written down, we can't forget :) I loved your post today! Thanks for coming over.

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  19. That last one is powerful. Reminds us that our talents were meant to be shared.

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    1. Exactly. Sharing is goood :) (scary but good :))

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  20. It easy for me to focus on negatives and forget positive comments. Thank you for the excellent reminder! And happy writing, my dear.

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    1. Thank you, Darla. I'll keep reminding you when you need to hear it :) Have a lovely week.

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  21. What nice comments. It just always seems that the negative comments stick out so much more...

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    1. I know what you mean - we'll have to remind each other OFTEN :)

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  22. Happy writing, good luck with the short stories and with the editing!

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  23. I still have a very nice postcard given to my by a writing coach I worked with when I first started writing. It's pinned to a board above my desk, and I glance up at it from time to time, especially when I'm frustrated with my writing. It's there to remind me of the positive things readers and my critique partners have said about my writing.

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    1. That's such a lovely reminder, Cherie. We all need that :) Wishing you lots of fun with your writing and much success :)

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  24. Keep reading over those wonderful compliments to soothe your nerves as you approach publication and get those edits back. You got this!

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    1. Aaaww thanks, Nicki. Your encouragement means a lot.

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  25. Great comments. It is important to remember that we get into this writing thing because it's something that calls to us, and so we tend to get pretty good at it. We focus on getting better. That's not a bad thing, but we also need to remember to look at how far we've already come.

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    1. My daughter reminded me, just the other day as to how far I've come since committing to my new career. She also reminded me that it takes time to learn a craft and become accomplished in that task. Such a wise young lady :)

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  26. You make an excellent point regarding the importance of recognizing the good and inspiring things that can be said about our writing. Writing can be a tough journey, especially when many of us writers tend to be our worst critics. But it can also be an incredible high when a reader "gets" our story. Good luck with the edits to come and with your release!

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    1. Thanks so much Angela. It is a tough journey. It's such a pity that it doesn't burn off lots of calories - I'd be stick thin :) Hope all is well with you. Have a lovely week.

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  27. Excellent idea to focus on the positives, Nicola - those are great comments!

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  28. Here from Alex's blog, I'm now a follower. Your post really resonated with me. I think it's human nature to focus on the negative. For example, a thousand people could rave about my work, gush over every sentence, but if one reader said something negative, that's what I"d focus on. It's tough, at least for me, to accept praise without thinking it disingenuous. Maybe it's time for a paradigm shift. Thanks for the words of wisdom. Best of luck on your journey to publication.

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    1. I think we all look for perfection. We want to tell our story in the best possible way that will please our readers. That's why that one negative stands out. BUT it is so important for our sanity to recognise and accept positive comments. After all, our readers are worthy of acceptance :) Thanks so much for coming by Andrea. It is lovely to 'meet' you!! Have a lovely week and find out those positives and stick them on the wall above your writing place!! :)

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  29. Those are some great comments you received.
    Yes, it can be easy to be drawn to the negative comments, how much better to be drawn to the positives while allowing the negative comments to help us, and the positive comments to encourage us.

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    1. Well said, Jeffrey! Thank you so much for popping over. It's lovely to 'meet' you. Have a super week!

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  30. Those are amazing quotes from your readers. I love looking at earlier as well as recent feedback for the encouragement.

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    1. That's the first time I've looked back at the positive comments. Thanks to the IWSG question, I did it :)

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  31. You should write down those lovely compliments and place them where you can see them when you write. Too often we only remember the negative. Best wishes.

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    1. Thankn you, Diane. I will do that.

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  32. If someone wants to write like you, that's one of the highest compliments you can receive!

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    1. I was thrilled :) Thanks for popping over, Lee.

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  33. Those are fantastic responses to your writing. We do tend to focus on the negative too much when we really should focus on the positive.

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    1. It's finding the right balance for progress :) Thank you for popping by, Cherie. Always lovely to see you.

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  34. Those positive comments are SO important. We need that to keep us going.

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    1. We do, Stephanie. Thanks for popping by.

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  35. That quote from Lie to Me is so thought-provoking...

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