Wednesday Woo: Are You A Hack?

Seth Godin’s blog post this morning struck a nerve for me (it’s only four lines–go read it)

The critic as an amateur hack

Not only is it super easy for us to think of ourselves as critics worth listening to, but writers worth reading.

Let’s never mind the critics since they are so unreliable. How do we determine whether our efforts deserve the reader’s time and money? Or even our own time and resources?

Do you care about the quality of your work? By whose standards do you measure it?

Do you even question the works value? Or is producing it the payback? What makes a work so self-serving merit readers attention?

If you haven’t considered whether the work you are producing is worthy of what you are asking for it (a reader’s time and money) then you are a hack.

But, that’s just my opinion, take it for it’s worth.

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Wednesday Woo: Supporting Writers

Setting goals during our Sunday PICR meeting has become a ritual, as has the results–not many of us actually meet them. I fear we, okay I, don’t take them very seriously or in the least not seriously enough. I don’t think we are being unrealistic in our expectations but rather we don’t value our writing as much as we should.

This week George suggested we give him a shout out to make sure he’s on target to reach his writing goals. I like that, it’s proactive. So here you go–get it done George! Times a-wasting.

This conversation got me thinking to November when we ask our loved ones to give us some extra consideration and slack while we try to pound out 50 thousand words in 30 days. And while that is a time-consuming endeavor whose pace we can’t keep up with every month, why do we not afford ourselves the time and focus to write on a more daily basis the other eleven months of the year?

I think we can ask more of ourselves and of our support system, and we should do so in order to protect the very precious writer in us that needs nurturing because no one else is going to do it for us.

What specifically keeps you from writing? I, for one, get distracted by the world-wide web and all its glorious information which I justify reading as “research”. Yeah, I’m sure that video of the baby seal playing with the surfers is going to come up in my opus on marriage. That, and I’m a television junkie. Obviously, I need to unplug, but as many of you know I have Dysgraphia and can’t write with out my laptop. I guess one option is to shut off my wifi connection and not allow myself to wander the byways of Procrasti-nation.

There’s my goal. Shut off the wifi every time I sit down to write.

As for other ways you can be and ask for support, see if you can utilize any of these.

http://litreactor.com/columns/8-ways-to-support-the-writers-in-your-life

http://www.alanrinzler.com/blog/2014/06/11/how-authors-support-their-writing-dreams/

http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2011/11/09/when-in-doubt-just-say-fuck-em/

Maybe you harbor anxiety about your writing? I know I hold back and don’t finish projects to avoid dealing with the next step. This one is more about creativity and nurturing yourself. Eric Maisel is a creativity coach, one of many hats he wears.

http://podcasts.personallifemedia.com/podcasts/227-joy-of-living-creatively

Wednesday Woo: Criticism

Criticism: What we hear “the expression of disapproval of someone or something based on perceived faults or mistakes.” What was meant “the analysis and judgment of the merits and faults of a literary or artistic work.”

We all have something that we are afraid of being judge for, it could be our appearance, our choice of career, our spouse, or eating that dessert. Creatives are especially vulnerable since our sensitivities extend to how our work is perceived mistaking that as a reflection of us personally.

Here’s a humorous take on how to handle criticism. http://www.cracked.com/blog/the-6-greatest-life-hacks-handling-criticism/

A Zen approach to handling personal criticism. http://tinybuddha.com/blog/how-to-deal-with-criticism-well-25-reasons-to-embrace-it/

For someday when we finally get feedback from an editor. http://nailyournovel.wordpress.com/2013/08/25/how-to-deal-with-critiques-and-editorial-feedback/

And a resource for Literary Criticism. http://www.onlineuniversitylowdown.com/2007/08/50-places-to-find-literary-criticism-online.html

Almost forgot, the sensible C.S. Lakin (I have not used her services but have followed her for quite a while. When the time comes she’s top on my list to try inquire about) http://critiquemymanuscript.com/#writetip