Holy schmoly, January's already over and we're barreling ahead straight through 2016. But my fear of time is more appropriate for a different kind of therapy group. Today we're talking writing.
Last fall I faced something that, upon reflection, I think very well had the potential to cripple me as a writer. I dug into my original novel with an aim to make a few changes (you can get the full scoop in my January newsletter), and while I was in there, I figured I'd clean out some adverbs & whatnot. But what I found inside was much, much worse.
I'm one of those writers who doesn't read her books once they're out in the world. I know it'll only cause itchy fingers to tweak more. After a whirlwind editing process on this particular novel, all I'd ever read were small excerpts pulled for promo. With the full manuscript cut open and once again in front of me, I saw not only excessive adverbage; I found way too many dialogue tags and repetition in the narrative of what had already been conveyed in dialogue. I found judgmental passages unfitting for the overall tone of the story. Worst of all, I found abundant amounts of telling not showing. *gasp*
It was enough to get the mantra "I suck; I suck; I suck," playing through my brain. But then I realized something---2015 me saw the things 2010 me hadn't. Part of that sight comes from simply having been away and coming back fresh, but the bigger part comes from five years of learning. Through writing more stories and having them critiqued, editing and critiquing others, and networking with other writers to share insecurities and tips (thank you!), I've become a better writer. And that's something to celebrate not cringe about.
How about you---do you notice differences in your writing now versus five years ago?
This post is part of the monthly blog hop/therapy session known as Insecure Writers Support Group, founded by the one and clonely Alex J. Cavanaugh.