Thursday, November 18, 2010

In praise of praise

It's been too long since I blogged anything about my writing--or anything else, either. Chaos occasionally takes over. We have family traveling, the holidays coming (not related to family travel, actually), and all sorts of deadlines for each family member. Makes me think of that old song lyric, "Every thing runs in a circular motion, bobbing like a little boat upon the sea..." although little boats bobbing don't, as a rule, run in a circular motion. But I digress, which seems to be my pattern these days.

I've been going through my manuscript like someone reading a diary. "Oh, I remember writing that," "This part is so lame, what was I thinking," and, of course, "This is pretty darned good." Writers generally labor in solitude, so, when my critique group isn't around, I must praise myself. As long as we aren't delusional, I think we writers ought to praise ourselves. I don't mean run around the streets telling everyone what a great writer you are. I mean just read your stuff and pick out what's good. After all, if you hate your writing, how can you expect anyone else to want to read it? So praise. Take a moment out of the chaos to remember your manuscript, and to pick out the really good stuff. Let the bad stuff sit for another day. First praise, then get back to work to make the whole thing praiseworthy once you're energized by your own good reviews.

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