Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Focusing on the Positives #IWSG

The curious thing about being a writer is it’s a whole lot harder than it looks. Part of the job of being a writer is to question every scene, every paragraph, every sentence. Does it express everything I want it to express? Could it be better? Am I using the correct grammar? Have I broken the rules in a way that adds to the text rather than taking away from it? What needs fixing?

The list of questions is endless, but they are questions writers need to ask if they want to push themselves to make the piece the best darn writing they can produce. Of course, the questions can have a negative impact. They can cause the doubts to come knocking. This is natural and normal but doesn’t mean those doubts need to stay. The best way to send them packing is to focus on the positives—which brings me to this month’s IWSG question: What’s the best thing someone has said about your writing?

I must admit I don’t often think about the answer to this question, but perhaps I should. It’s a great reminder that yes, I can touch people through my writing, enough for them to say remarkable and unexpected compliments.

Apart from, “Yes, I will publish this piece,” I think the best compliment I ever received was over a fantasy character I’d created. My reader, rather than simply saying, “He’s good,” said instead that he seemed so real and cool that he could see stuffed toys being made based on him. And it was said with genuine enthusiasm and was followed by a string of true gushing. Wow. When I get feedback like that I’m reminded how much I love writing and that yes, I can get people excited over my characters, which was unfathomable previously (and still is on occasion).

So what’s the best compliment someone has said about your writing? How do you focus on the positives?

Next month’s IWSG question: What was your very first piece of writing as an aspiring writer? Where is it now? Collecting dust or has it been published?


IWSG Anthology Contest - Vote to Select the Genre
The second annual Insecure Writer’s Support Group anthology contest is coming up soon and this year, members get to select the genre!

Edit: The votes are in and FANTASY won!


Photo: I'm in the middle of a stressful time at the moment so my gorgeous husband took me to the National Park for lunch last Sunday to relax. We decided to go for a walk along a random track. The further we went, the more overgrown it became. Then a patch of sunlight came through the brush and I was able to capture the above closeup pic of moss on a log. I had to share.

This post was written for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. We post on the first Wednesday of every month. To join us, or learn more about the group, click HERE

87 comments:

  1. Could make stuffed toys from him. Merchandising - you've arrived! All kidding aside, that is really, really cool.

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    1. you made me laugh with your comment, Alex.

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  2. Human nature that we focus on the negative first. But we have to remember the good. Authors should save all their fan mail and great reviews and keep them handy for those days when the negative overwhelms.

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    1. I like that idea. It's important to remember the good stuff.

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  3. That's a GREAT comment!
    Diane has made a good point!
    We should have a special board on which to pin all positive feedback during the writer's journey. It could be a Pinterest board, or a physical one on the wall in your office/writing den.
    Happy IWSG Day!

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    1. I'm old school. I like physical copies, reminders I can hold in my hands.

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  4. That is a wonderful comment. And I agree with Diane and Michelle - we should collect the positives. Goodness knows we keep going over and over the negatives!

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  5. What a great compliment! Stuffed toys - love it! :)
    I also love the "I will publish that" line - best ever

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    1. Jemi!! I was super thrilled at that compliment.

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  6. I don't know if I've ever created anyone worthy of an action figure, but I have had several people ray my work should be a comic book or graphic novel. I just see that as more work though, finding and working with an artist.

    Like you, I should probably work harder to see the positives. ;-)

    www.cdgallantking.ca

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  7. I LOVE it! You totally need a plushy of your character made, and I need a movie of my books made. (According to a couple raving fans.) We rock, don't we?

    I had to laugh at your first paragraph. Yesterday I chopped an entire chapter. Yup. I got done editing through it and said, "What happened in this chapter that builds the overall plot? Oh, nothing." The best part is, I don't even feel back about hitting delete.

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    1. Yep, I can see your books being made into movies. And lol at having to chop a whole chapter. It means you are doing it right!!

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    2. But seriously, I want to see your plushy character.

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    3. I wouldn't mind seeing it myself, but alas, it remains in a dream.

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  8. The NP is a great way to relax and get inspired at the same time!

    That's a cool comment. Toys--yup, that says it all.

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    1. I love the Nat Park, and we live really close to one too, which is awesome.

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  9. Now that is a great compliment!

    Although, I really don't think I'd want any of my characters made into stuffed animals. Nightmares, anyone? :)

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  10. What a great compliment! A real toy based on your mind. :) and yes, writing can be as complicated as creating a science formula. More Planning and thought and direction shifting goes into them people ever dream. It's just a different sort of impact than science. Lol

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  11. That is great, can merchandise away. That's where the dough is haha I just pffft the negative away and carry on

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    1. pffting the negative away and carrying on is definitely the way to go.

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  12. You're so right, that's a great compliment, perfect in fact. Happy IWSG Day, Lynda. Hope it's a great one.

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  13. It's a wonderful picture! Great job!
    I think that hearing a reader gush about a character or anything I've written would be amazing! I look forward to that day!
    Congratulations!

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  14. What a soft and cuddly compliment! Having someone gush over your writing is so wonderful, and needed. We are human and do need to hear good things about our writing from time to time.

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    1. It is important to get that great feedback.

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  15. Love the photo! and I'm glad you got to relax a little on Sunday. :) What a great compliment about the stuffed animal, and the enthusiasm that obviously wasn't faked about your writing. My best recent compliment was someone saying BOTTLED was one of the best books she'd read this year (and she reads a LOT of books)! :)

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    1. Oh wow, that's an awesome compliment about your latest novel!! How awesome!!

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  16. I think one of the best compliments I ever received was from the editors of a literary magazine that I submitted a story to. They rejected a story, but they added a note; they said that they were very impressed by my writing and said that they hoped that their note would encourage me to send them more stories.

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    1. How wonderful! I hope you did send them more stories.

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  17. It's crucial to get those compliments ever once and a while...we authors live on those:) My favorite is when someone says demandingly..."I want to read more!" :)

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    1. It's so awesome seeing our readers make a connection with our stories and characters.

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  18. That is a wonderful compliment. I'm still working on what 'the greatest' would be. Hmm...

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    1. Yeah, I stumbled at first too because, as I said, it's not something I think enough about. I really should!

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  19. That is impressive for sure. Congrats Lynda....

    I had an author pal read my second novel and the first thing she asked me, "who do you think they'll cast for Aiden?" (the MC). I was like "What?!" She was serious. Nice compliment for sure...

    It's great to get out in nature to relax.... How wonderful to be so close to a National Park....

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    1. What a wonderful compliment, Michael. How awesome would it be to have a movie made out of one of your books?

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  20. It is much more difficult a job that people realize. So many people think they could write a book if they wanted to.

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    1. So many people say they want to write a book, but so few even get close to actually starting, let alone finishing.

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  21. Oh it's amazing when a compliment hits close to your heart. Lovely photo, definitely an IWSG moment. Yes we writers need to push the boundaries without falling into the abyss. It's a balancing act.

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    1. Writers are the best tightrope walkers in the world!

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  22. Wonderful praise! Some days it's easier to say positive than others.

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  23. What gorgeous praise to receive Lyn! And a walk will do it every time. Good for your husband! :-)

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  24. What a great compliment! That's wonderful to have a fan like that! :-) And that means you've been doing your job super well! For me, I was told that my story was too short, meaning my reader could have spent more time with my characters. It was so nice to hear that. :-)

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    1. That's a nice compliment to have readers wanting to stay longer with your characters.

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  25. When people start thinking of your character as real, that's the real prize. Everything else will flow from that. That was a nice compliment.

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    1. It makes it all worth it when you get compliments like that.

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  26. That's a great compliment. It shows he connected with your characters. I like what you said about doubt. Focusing on good things does help.

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    1. It's essential to focus on the good things and there are so many different ways of doing it too.

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  27. as a translator I think most writers, especially today YA ones don't question every scene, every sentence, every paragraph enough, if at all.. which is why they have so many nonsensical and implausible moments and stupid plots :)

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    1. Sadly that seems true of a lot of books, especially, but not exclusively, self-published books. There are of course the golden exceptions.

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    2. Lynda, will Dezz every write a biography, you reckon?

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  28. Lynda,
    I love this post. Focusing on the positives is so important for us writers. Also, the way you expressed some of the things that a writer has to do if he or she wants to have a piece publish is excellent because those ARE the things we have to do.
    Thank you.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Patricia

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    1. And those questions we should be asking ourselves aren't always so easy to answer. But they make a huge difference when we take the time to work through them.

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  29. Lynda, that is a great compliment. Your character breathed to life for that reader which is what all writer's try to accomplish.

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  30. What a gift. It's wonderful when people care about your characters in that way.

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  31. Lynda, you have beautiful characters that I can see being made into stuffed creatures as well. But you are right. Writers need to concentrate on the positives. Otherwise, they may stop writing before they find validation. Thanks for sharing this.

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    1. Remembering those joys, that wonderful feedback, really does make a difference.

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  32. Sometimes we need to know other appreciate or admire our work. How great that someone said that about your characters. Those characters are the heart of your story.

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    1. Exactly right. Those characters are even a part of ourselves in a way too.

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  33. Sometimes it is hard to get past all those quetions, and doubts. Its worth the effort though :)

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  34. So what’s the best compliment someone has said about your writing? I wish, Lynda. :(

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    1. Are you saying you've never ever received a compliment about your writing? Ever? I recall saying your grammar was very good... That's something isn't it? ;)

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    2. THanks, Lynda. You know how to put a smile on my face. Have a great weekend.

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    3. The weekend was here and then it wasn't. Very sad how fast weekends go by. But it was a good one, so yay!
      Keep smiling :)

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  35. That is a lovely compliment! ^_^

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  36. You're right Lynda. It's important to remember the good things others have said about our writing. It helps counter attack the negative thoughts about out writing when you can think of actual proof that your writing has touched someone. And will touch others again and again just as long as we keep writing.

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    1. yep, all we have to do is keep writing, never giving up.

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  37. I'm so sorry I'm horribly late with this comment. Truth is I'm so behind I don't make rounds of bloggers, I just return comments. *blush*

    What an awesome idea about action figures! If anyone said they'd like to make an action figure of my hero, I'd be thrilled! Yay for you!

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    1. Ha, don't worry about any lateness of comments. I know all too well what it's like when super crazy busy.

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