Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Good Kind of Pain

No pain no gain, right?

Riiiight. When I'm running and my knee hurts, it's gain, right? Riiiight.

Okay, so not all pain is gain. But pain relating to writing can definitely be gain. I was with my critique group a week ago where I had submitted a chapter. It was good, because I had gone a long spell without submitting anything. [insert plug about how critique groups are awesome because they can give you a writing goal you need to meet.]

Anyway, the critique of my chapter started something like this:

"It just didn't flow"
"Yeah, it was boring"
"It wasn't exciting at all"

My first thought was: aaaaauuuuuuughhhhhh.... what a world!
And my second: I'm never submitting again!

Once my critique group got past deflating my head a bit, they pin pointed issues in the chapter. While I think they may have started harshly, the feedback they gave was useful.

So I took the pain of that moment and rewrote it.

This week they had much better things to say!

Sometimes we need to hear the painful things so our writing can grow and our writing can get polished.



  1. Great post, Kevin. I've had similar experiences when people point out the flaws in my work. Times where at first I wanted to kick something, or go crawl in a corner and die, but then as the initial agony fades I realize that there's something I need to work on.

    So why do we get our work critiqued? Is it because we want everyone to say, "This is fantastic! You must publish it now! It will sell a million copies!" That's not really helpful. If you want to hear that, give your manuscript to your mom (I love you mom, thanks for believing in me). My daughter and I were talking yesterday about some authors we know of who were published too soon and never achieved the high quality of skill in storytelling we see in others who struggled for a long time before breaking in. Part of that struggle is getting feedback, sometimes painful feedback, on your writing.

  2. All of writing is struggle, isn't it? But then there's the glory of working through the struggle and getting to the other side. Nothing can beat it. :)

  3. None of us LIKE hearing our pages have issues, but we all love it once the issues are resolved. Critique groups rock! I'm a much better writer because of mine. :)


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