author/novelist

Be Still My Brain

Smoke&BrimstonewebVarious writer’s book excerpts daily fall into and out of my awareness. I give the first few paragraphs a glance, usually moving on. Today, several happened past that made old habits twitch. I moved on, anyway.

There’s a very unique problem, now, with writing. Only a non-writer may critique. Or, sometimes, maybe, if they’re very brave, the masters of the commercial writing world might venture their opinion and survive. Might. Stephen King and Neil Gaiman could, perhaps, but even they might feel the bite when truth rattles tender sensibilities and their ‘victim’s’ loyal hounds are loosed and set upon them.

When I began to write, I had editors blue pencil the hell out of my manuscripts. Sometimes they would leave acerbic remarks in margins. Some of these remarks were devastating, knocking me out of my chair and away from my keyboard for weeks, even months. Then, I’d pick myself up, examine my wounds, and adjust. In plain-speak, I learned. Those editors weren’t doing me harm. They were doing me huge, and, yes, I mean HUGE, favors just to take the time to show me how to improve my craft. I’ll never be able to repay them their kindness. But for them…(that’s ‘but’ used as ‘except’, if you are unfamiliar with the construct), I would not be the writer that I am.

Today, it’s best just to move on, saying nothing, or, if forced to, simply nod, applaud, and smile.

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