Sunday, July 1, 2012

Guest Post - Learning Along the Way by Jacqueline Gardner

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. 

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