Where should my novel go from here?

I’ve received comments back from four of my second-round beta readers, and I’m still awaiting to hear from two more. Of the four received, two raved about the book, one said I needed to do a lot more work to lift it from a first draft status to a publishable novel, and the fourth, whom I heard from this week, basically told me to start over, that it’s a poorly written mess with parts that make no sense at all. Years ago I read Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. In it she has a chapter about the creative U-turn. Ever since reading about U-turns I’ve been avoiding them ( as I wrote here). I haven’t allowed negative reviews or feedback to make me come to a full stop and do an about face. However, this time it feels different. I’ve worked so long and hard on this novel and written about how I've avoided the creative U-turn so many times before, that the thought of starting over or doing almost a total rewrite just seems too hard. You probably wonder what this latest reviewer said to … [Read more...]

7,747 total views, no views today

Am I going to take a creative U-turn?

Today is the day I asked my novel beta readers to send me their comments. So far I’ve received two sets. And of course I’ll very patiently await the rest. I feel my readers are doing me such a huge favor that whenever I get their comments will be okay. My dilemma now is with the two conflicting sets of comments I already have. One set says my novel is amazing, well written, and gives my writing lots of other kudos. The other set suggests major rewrite, reorganization, and more work shopping before I send it out again. This second set of comments reminds me of Julia Cameron’s section on Creative U-turns in her book, The Artist’s Way. It makes me want to stop working on this novel altogether because the task is too deep and too tall. I fear that I don’t know how to pull it off. Cameron says: “We usually commit creative hara-kiri either on the eve of or in the wake of a first creative victory….Creative U-turns are always both from fear – fear of success or fear of failure. It does … [Read more...]

6,991 total views, no views today

Rejection – another cause of a U-turn

Talk about a U-turn. This must be my week. Here I am facing that U-turn again, and I need to find a way to work myself out of it. It is so easy to get in the rejection doldrums. Any little thing can set it off – an unreturned telephone call or email, someone saying they’ll do something and they don’t, and of course that actual dreaded rejection letter. I’m sure most of my creative readers know what that dreaded word is about it. You’ve probably experienced it. I know I have. I actually got sixty-eight rejections (by actual letter or by silence) before I got a publishing contract for my memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On. So I thought I was immune to it. Turns out I’m not. Rejection hurts. In the last month my work has received two rejection emails. And since these rejections were from anthologies I’ve been featured in before, my first reaction was Whoa, what am I doing wrong here? I better stop and rethink my course of action. Did I just say I’m taking a U-turn? I think … [Read more...]

4,531 total views, no views today

The Artist’s Way: the creative U-turn

I need to get back to basics – my writing life. Yesterday I felt like my writing life had taken what Julia Cameron calls a creative U-turn, in her best seller, The Artist’s Way. But, thankfully that mood only lasted a day and a half. My creative U-turn came about because things I’d planned for regarding my memoir are not going to happen as planned. It put me in a blue funk. It made me think, what’s the point of all the work I’m doing anyway? But this morning I listened to Cameron words: “Once we admit the need for help, the help arrives.” I got back to my desk, made some calls, sent some emails, got the answers I needed, and voila, my mood is back to creativity again. I know this sounds vague. I’ll get more detailed in the future. Please stay tuned. And keep your creative career from making that creative U-turn. Remember every creative career has it failures. We must accept them, work through them, and not let them get in our artist’s way. … [Read more...]

2,810 total views, no views today