Monday, May 13, 2013

Mothering Your Writing

First - the winner of the 5 page critique (via is MARGO! Yeah! I'll email you with detes.

In honor of Mother's Day, and as a mother of three, I want to talk a bit about parenting. Parenting your manuscript that is. Take a look at this post via Agent Carly Watters. It got me thinking. We do treat our work like our babies, and I get it, but it isn't always healthy. 

So how do you KNOW you're in that unhealthy zone?

  • Do you read for revision, but see nothing that can or should be changed?
  • Do you have a suspicion that the minute you send it out in the query world it will be gobbled up immediately?
  • Do you like your own writing better than anything else out there?
What should you do if you're there or close (even on occasion)? 
  • Put the manuscript in a virtual drawer and start working on something new. Because you know what? Until I'd written several manuscripts I was so enamored with my characters it was hard to concentrate on other things. Now I enjoy diving back in with old friends, but I can separate myself just fine between.
  • Make sure you use good critique partners. You have to have another set of eyes. Trustworthy ones. It takes time to find good ones, but they're worth their weight in gold. And be open to criticism, even if that means holding off for another day or two when you get notes. 
  • Force yourself to rewrite a section. Even if you think it's perfect. Start over and do something different. Maybe try a new POV. You'll realize there might be more than one way to say things. 
Any other tips? Have you ever fallen into this trap? 

NEXT WEEK STARTS MY BLOG TOUR FOR THE BINDING STONE!! Stop by for a schedule and giveaway info on Monday. 


  1. lol I'm definitely not that unhealthy zone. More like the unhealthy zone in the opposite direction.

    I'm a firm believer of giving your ms space. Only then can you be a meanie to it. :D

  2. So agree with you both about the importance of getting space from your manuscript. When I don't, I do fall into those unhealthy zones.

  3. I agree that it's hard not to see something you put so much work into as a part of you. But I don't think I'm in a bad zone with it. I'm constantly revising and I'm quite modest about my work. I know it's not the greatest, I have favorite authors even indie authors who are way more talented. But I use them as source of working harder to achieve my goals. Great post.

  4. Can't ever remember reading my MS and not needing to make changes. I can, however, remember putting things away for a while (maybe too long of a while).

  5. Somehow, I can love what I've written and realize it still has a long way to go at the same time. I think it's the English teacher me that allows this. There's always something I can improve.

  6. Really good advice. It's amazing what space/time away from a manuscript does to open your eyes. While CPs catch one set of issues, only time away can catch other issues.

  7. That's great advice! I'm almost always at the opposite end of the scale so I don't think I have to worry too much about over-parenting! :)

  8. Such good advice. Being open to new ideas is a big one. After notes settle in for a few days, I always see the validation of new ideas. But our manuscripts our totally our babies, no doubt.

  9. This post is hilarious! Unfortunately I can't stop finding things to change when I revise, ha ha.

  10. I'm a revise-a-holic, am convinced no one will ever snap up my writing, and I fall in love with other author's work on a daily basis - Does that make me the poster girl for healthy?

  11. Short but powerful! This was exactly what I needed to hear. My manuscript's been giving me some trouble lately, so thanks for this awesome post. :)

    -Amanda @ Writing Cozy Mysteries