My husband has trouble sometimes with the amount of time I spend on my writing (my hobby); and it doesn’t matter how many times I tell him that the goal is to get published here; hubby will see it as a hobby until the day a cheque rolls in… (pray we see the day!)
Part of the problem, he says, is that I’ve never let him see a thing that I write. I am in fact, obsessive about privacy to the point of password-protecting my laptop; closing it if he comes near; not leaving it open on a table to dash to the loo…
I have several issues with people reading my work:
a) I must be 90% happy with it first (rightly or wrongly – that’s just how I am)
b) I’d like to know that the person reading my work reads in the romance genre. (And that ain’t my hubby! He’s more Stephen King & John Sandford.)
Most friends who know that I’m writing have offered or asked to read some pages. My neighbor has offered; so has a mentor from my journalism days, and I’ve very politely turned them all down.
Romance Writers of Australia has a critique service that it offers where you can join a critique group. I’m seriously thinking about this because I figure this is about like minds, and like skills.
I have never been one to attend a course or to undertake any training in anything I’ve done (I do believe this was a reason my colour-field painting experiment didn’t get off the ground), I’ve always been more a learn on the job type and the internet really does have so much great information for free, I don’t see what else I could learn at any higher quality than what is offered online.
I said in my original post that my second book, His Brand Of Beautiful, went wrong from the start. Quite honestly, whenever I look back on any of my original stuff from that book I shiver; and I wish to hell I’d never sent it anywhere. It really was crap. I don’t need anyone now to tell me it was crap. Perhaps if I had been in a critique group back then, or let someone read it, they could have told me it was crap. (They would have had to be terribly honest though).
But I think I learned more by getting rejected and coming to realize how much I needed to work on, and so fix the problems myself.
There was a great discussion on Jennifer Crusie’s blog the other day about critique groups and what to say and how to say it (and what not to do – i.e. never rewrite someone’s work as a way of critiquing or say – I would have done it like this). http://www.arghink.com/2012/06/07/the-12-days-of-liz-day-nine-the-words-and-me/
If I do join a critique group, I will try to remember that the words are the author’s; the voice is the author’s and it’s not for me to change anything about the way someone writes.