Guest Post - Learning Along the Way by Jacqueline Gardner
After I completed my first manuscript, I had no idea what to do next. I gave out a few copies to friends and family but little did I know that their opinions would always sway in my favor, even if they pinky-sweared they would be honest.
After hearing lots of positive feedback, I hardly edited at all. I held on to the praise of family members, and I made the biggest mistake a writer can make. I sent out my manuscript to interested parties without having my work critiqued (I mean really critiqued)! If I could give only one piece of advice to an aspiring author I would say (actually yell), “Don’t make the same mistake!”
I definitely learned my lesson, and soon made a new friend. My critique partner and I talk almost every day. We have similar sense of humors, we like the same books, the same movies, and we both think the other is a better writer. I’m in LOVE with my critique partner’s writing. It’s very elegant. Her writing twirls around in beautiful ball gowns while mine lounges around in jeans and flip-flops. Knowing that encourages me to try harder.
Now when I finish a manuscript, I end up rewriting it a few times. I cut and add, and make sure I’ve received critiques from other authors. It takes a lot of courage to send your work off to someone who might tell you it’s garbage, but it’s worth it. For me, it’s a continuous learning experience. I edit with an open mind.