Wednesday, October 2, 2013

IWSG: Jaded

It’s the first Wednesday of the month, time for


First off, congrats and thanks to Alex and his admins—Joy Campbell, Michelle Wallace, Joylene Nowell Butler, Susan Gourley/Kelley, L. Diane Wolfe, and Lynda Young—for putting the new IWSG blog page together.  It looks great!  And it reminds me how grateful I am to have so many writer friends in the blogosphere, even if I haven’t been around much lately.

Truth is, I would never have enjoyed the success I’ve been gifted with had it not been for my many, many virtual friends.  More than anything, I love when I have the occasion to actually meet one of those who’ve previously been contained within the boundaries of my computer monitor. 

 Such was yesterday, when I finally met an author friend of mine, someone I’d connected with over the summer via Facebook.  And after much cajoling, she finally gave me permission to read her book.  Yeah, long story, but it comes down to…well…insecurity.  After reading my book, she’d put me on an absurdly high pedestal and feared I might not like her debut novel, a self-published contemporary romance and a step away from my usual go-to genre.

This got me thinking about how critical I’ve become lately.  It’s certainly not intentional, more like a hazard of my new professions, writing and editing, and something I’m working hard to rein in so I can just sit back and enjoy reading books like everyone else.  Granted, I’m still of the mind that every author, no matter how they find their way to publication, should do their research and work hard to hone their craft before hitting that final button.  But what’s most important—and what I’ve lost sight of—about any story is the…well…the story, not the grammar or punctuation or any of those things that have been distracting me lately.  It all goes back to the story.

 So I’m vowing to get back to my reader roots and just…you know…read!

What about you, my writer friends, have you found yourself more critical since venturing down the path toward publication?  If so, dontcha just hate that?!

 



Oh yeah, one last thing…  I was recently invited to join a remarkable group of authors on Facebook and here on Blogger, where we’ve launched a brand new blog.  We are called Dauntless, and I invite you all to drop on by and say hello.  I think you might recognize an old friend or two lurking about!





23 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I found Dauntless recently!
Cool you got to meet an online friend.
I guess I'm glad I know how to turn off the editor and just read. Glaring things will jump out, but otherwise I just enjoy. I think that's the heart of a story. Find that again, Nancy, and you'll enjoy reading again.
And glad you like the site! We're still working on it and it will get even better.

Annalisa Crawford said...

I'm completely the opposite to you - I can easily read books for pleasure without being overly critical... However that means I find beta reading is slightly beyond me, because I just get caught up in the story. I'm working to rectify it.

Melissa said...

Yup. I totally get it. Being picky makes me a good editor, but it makes me a poor encourager. I have to remind myself to find a balance and watch what I say.

Glad you met up with your friend.

Dauntless sounds interesting...will have to check it out. :)

JeffO said...

Strange, I'm not getting notifications of your updates--blogger acting up again.

What I think I've found is I'm more critical now of things that aren't as good. When I'm reading a story that's really good, I don't notice the techniques or small errors that may have gotten missed, but I am much more aware with stories that aren't so hot.

Andrew Leon said...

I pay more attention to punctuation that I used to, but, really, I've always been this way. :P

Cathrina Constantine said...

I read for pure pleasure. Though, I admit I'm more prone to finding typos or skewed sentences. I'm off to look at Dauntless.

Rhonda Albom said...

Maybe because I am so far away from even a first draft, but I have been finding the opposite. I am in awe of published writers. I finally took a baby step and joined IWSG this week.

jamieayres.com said...

Dauntless . . . LOVE the name! I stopped by :-) Becoming a writer does kind of ruin the magic of reading a little bit.

Lynda R Young said...

I've written a draft for a post on this topic. I really should polish it up and post already!

For me, story is soooo important, and yet story so often gets pushed to the side in the pursuit of the littler things. Silly me!

Morgan said...

Ohhhh... can I get back to my reader roots with you??? :) And love the pic, Nancy. You're seriously SO gorgeous! <3

Michelle Wallace said...

I really enjoy reading for pleasure... so that means that my beta skillz would require loads of work...
Dauntless - a no-nonsense, in-your-face, we-mean-business type of a name... perfect!
Writer In Transit

Natalie Aguirre said...

I try not to critique when I read so I enjoy it more. But when I'm not loving a story, I tend to do that.

Carole Anne Carr said...

Good luck with the new group, shall certainly drop by, Nancy.

Siv Ottem said...

I agree with Natalie. If I am not enjoying a book I find myself critiquing it until I just close the book once and for all. I have always done this, even before I got published. Will have to check out that group :)

Chris Fries said...

In writing, as in all my creative outlets, I am my own harshest critic! It's a huge reason why I took such a long lull from writing and blogging. but I'm trying to get back into both (and have even rebooted my blog to add my guitar playing).

But I'm so thrilled to see that your own writing and blogging has been going well. I read "The Mistaken" a long time ago and know that you're a wonderful writer!

I wish you nothing but tremendous success, Nancy, and know that you're going to achieve it! Never let insecurity or jadedness stand in your way -- write like a reader and enjoy what you write. You're great at both!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I can't even watch a movie anymore without tossing in a critique. I annoy myself. Why can't I stop?

Tonja said...

I still like reading but I'm definitely more critical.

I follow with my new ID. My new blog is http://tonjamatney.blogspot.com

Mel Chesley said...

I have to admit, I've become quite critical during this process. I miss reading just for the sake of reading. I still do it once in awhile, but if I find an error, I sigh, roll my eyes and move on. Errors used to bother me before I started on this path, now they're just downright irritating. I do get over it and enjoy the story for what it is, but boy.... sometimes...

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Thank you for this important reminder, Nancy. I've been feeling the exact same way for a while. Your comment about focusing on the story is so on the mark. Besides, who am I to talk. Me and commas are at odds with each other. Notice how I put partial blame on an inanimate object? LOL

Carrie Butler said...

Yep! Those things are crucial during edits, but story is king when you're reading for fun. :)

Liza said...

I imagine it would be very hard to take off the editor hat. I do find myself revising while I'm reading for pleasure. It's hard to turn that off too.

Nicole Zoltack said...

Great picture! It's so great to spend time with friends.

Kittie Howard said...

Thought I'd drop by and see how you're doing -- and, WOW, congrats on all the success --- sooo happy for you! Everything clicked after you went to that writer's workshop!

Will check out Dauntless!