Well, critiques can be harsh.
And the learning process is hard.
But we do learn in the end, don’t we?
So, I have been writing for almost two years. And, I have been really proud of what I have written; concentrating on the essays for my first memoir.
I have been getting positive responses. Yay!! I barreled forward, created about a hundred essays. I like what I wrote too.
Then I wrote the Prologue and, the response, not so much loving it. A bit, but not so much. Not what I expected.
I have a lot of work coming up.
Most comments and critiques have been “negative.” But needed. And all had worthy comments and suggestions. And I am so appreciative of the time spent giving me really good feedback.
Sometimes I have to walk into the wall. Come out the other side. See that bad, isn’t always bad. When I am so close to my work, I may not be objective.
As someone who is Bipolar 1 and has ADHD, this feedback would usually set me off into the stratosphere, or put me to bed for a month. Have me really dump on me. Oh, so wow can I do that.
I would, first, be reactive. And that would only put a strain on my relationship with my supremely supportive, my rock of a husband. Upsetting him and me.
My first memoir is titled “Unraveling- a journey into chaos.” But I am not going to allow that anymore.
Instead, this time, I am going to crawl into the comfort of his space, his arms, and he will quiet my rapidly beating heart, let me settle there for a while. Let me regroup.
My theme song about him is Anchor by Mindy Gledhill. Listen to it and you will see what I mean.
Writing is hard!!
Being the writer, opening yourself up, no matter what genre you are writing in is even harder.
You are putting yourself, thoughts, emotions, being, out there for people to read. Hopefully to enjoy it.
But in the end, every reader will judge.
I have to learn that the judging is about the writing, not me as a person. That separation is difficult to remember.
Living in San Miguel de Allende, in Mexico, has quieted me. Made me more reflective than reactive.
I know, before you get published, there will be knocks along the way. And the always present question, will I ever get published?
I am asking that right now. Does my story see the light of day?
Only time will tell.
Right now, what I need to do is give myself a bit of a break. Open up some time in me to take a breath.
Then, have my next meet-up with my coach. Listen to her.
The critiques I have been given so far from others in my writing groups are reflecting what she has questioned and asked of me all along.
Maybe my grandiosity has been simmering, making me think I know it all. I will end up on podcasts and the bestseller lists, I will get accolades! People will love me. I will belong.
I am proud I haven’t gotten to a boil and then rushed out over my rim, embarrassing myself.
I have been honest about my challenges, my disorders, my why, for years now.
I have broken through my cage of keeping hidden and silent.
I now open up and say “this is me.”
Whether my memoir(s) get published or not, I am published! I am here! My story, through my actions, has been here all along. I now show my life, my struggles, my illnesses, my hopes, my joys, to my readers. They don’t have to crack open a book in order to see me.
In life, those around me, my witnesses, have been “readers.”
Now I am just trying to share with the others, whoever those readers may be.
And I will always encourage others to write about their truth, even though there are up and downs to writing. I find it a medicinal life.
I have submitted personal essays, not ones from the memoirs, and been rejected there too.
I would like a bit of a win.
So, I am going to have a little cry. Then get back to work. Prepare me for the rest of the feedback I know is coming.
Absorb those words, learn, rewrite, learn, rewrite.
Remain true to me in the process.
Turn the page.
Amy CotlerDecember 16, 2021 at 5:59 pm
Hang in there, Ria. I spent yearS writing a memoir that wasn’t published, and I put in a drawer. Then I pulled it out, heavily revised some of the better pieces and they got published. There are many doors in. Keep the faith and savor the process. Writing is an act of discovery and the journey is well worth the ride. Your bravery and hard work is admirable. xooxox
Ria TalkenDecember 16, 2021 at 6:36 pm
I am getting many messages of encouragement and am determined that I will pull all if this off. I guess the longer the process, the more I will savor the moment. I am not only learning a lot about the act of writing but also me as a person with goals. Thank you so much! You know how I value your comments and appreciate your encouragement.
PhyllisDecember 16, 2021 at 12:03 pm
WELL SAID. Keep going!
Ria TalkenDecember 16, 2021 at 1:07 pm
Aw, Phyllis, thank you!! Your support is a great boost for me. And so is San Miguel – can’t wait till you return to ours and your lovely town. It teaches me every day.
Kelly JeanneDecember 16, 2021 at 10:20 am
I love it! It’s full of reflection, soul searching, truth, courage, and hope. I can feel the process and growth through your journey. Beautiful job, Ria!
Ria TalkenDecember 16, 2021 at 1:03 pm
WOW, thank you so much for those words and encouragement. I was a bit afraid I said too much. But I am trying with this blog to shine a light on one person’s journey towards a goal, learning about something totally new to me, and also what I, a new writer am going through with my own doubts and learning curve. I would like to think that the message of the blog encourages others to just take the leap and try.