reality slap [88]

As most of you know if you read my goals post, going back through my old stories was one of my goals for this month. I felt that this was important for many reasons. As a writer (especially as a writing major) you write so many different stories that sometimes fall through the cracks. Also, as a writing major, every single story you’ve written has a critique attached to it from about twenty different people. These are meant to be helpful in story development as well as writing structure.

Having graduated a year and a half ago I guess I forgot the feeling I’d get on workshop day. Trust me, I was quickly reminded as I leafed through all of my old critiques. My heart starts pounding really hard. My hand grow clammy. My “defensive” voice wakes up in my brain. It is not easy to read some things that people say about your passion.

I was not like the rest of my classmates. While I adore all the world changing great literature authors, I will never write like that. That’s just not my style. I fall much more comfortably into the Jane Green, Jennifer Weiner, Nicholas Sparks, Emily Giffin classification. In fact, I would consider myself lucky to be grouped with these writers. My works will not be studied in English classes around the world, and I’m okay with that. I hope to be that beach read some day. I even hope that some day a reader will find hope in one of my stories. I want to write something people can relate to. That’s all I hope for.
So after reading my critiques from college, I am left feeling a little discouraged. My writing received high praise, but my stories left something to be desired. I can’t help but feel a little wounded. I wonder if anyone else ever experiences being forced on an audience who simply wouldn’t be interested in your pieces.
I guess the whole point of going back and reading through my critiques was to make sure I am aware of my flaws in order to avoid them in current pieces.
Trust me. I am aware. And I’m trying to catch my breath.
If anyone ever tries to tell you that any of the art majors are easy, they are lying! Please tell me if you find another major that knit picks very personal assignments.

About JoElizabeth

I am a writer who loves to explore all different types of relationships. I am most happy when surrounded by my loved ones and furry children. I've never met a stranger, and I talk way too much. My favorite things to do are eat {preferably at a restaurant} with good friends, write, watch DVDs of TV series {especially FRIENDS}, drink lots of coffee and learn.
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2 Responses to reality slap [88]

  1. Corley May says:

    College critiques were tough because we were all so dead set on proving ourselves as smart, savvy writers and commentators. Josh has a critique that I wrote on him from when we were in class together and didn't really know each other, and I cringe in embarrassment when I read it — who did I think I was? Uppity and smarmy and judgmental. I shudder to think what else I unloaded on my classmates, thinking I was being honest and discerning when I was really being close-minded and elitist. Yuck. Anyway! :) If you ever want a writing companion to give anything a read through, I'm game. I think I've come a long way as a peer editor.

  2. Sabrina says:

    "I wonder if anyone else ever experiences being forced on an audience who simply wouldn't be interested in your pieces."I feel this way sometimes. Very few of my classmates were fantasy writers when I was an undergrad (we, strangely, ruled the grad program). But for me, this is more pronounced with the writer's group I attend. Most of the other members write suspense, romance, etc. And especially early on, there were times when it felt like they just didn't get it because of the genre. But it was nice to return after a long absence and one of the women there said she still thinks about an urban fantasy story (in a good way), which I brought in a year or so ago.

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