In July, 2005, then-active Miss Snark issued the first invitation to her hapless readers: Send me your first page!
She said it in passing, sort of. Nobody seemed to be responding.
So I took it upon myself to send the illustrious Miss Snark an email that read, "OK, I'll bite." And, amidst great trembling and fear, I sent her the first page of my current WIP.
Miss Snark may have been caught a bit off guard by my email. She wrote back asking if it was okay to post my page and her comments on the blog.
Being a silly, novice writer, I said it would be fine if she changed the names of the characters. (Did I think somebody was going to steal them?) She agreed, and chose the most ridiculous character names I'd ever read.
She then proceeded to tear my writing to gentle shreds.
At first, it stung ("How dare she!"). Then it brought a dull sense of "I guess my writing sucks."
But then something even better happened. I realized that Miss Snark's comments were dead on. I ended up doing some of the best rewriting I'd ever done.
Ultimately, the work ended up "on the shelf" bearing the label, "Practice Novel." But you know what? My work has never been the same.
I'm actually writing well now. Well, as in getting requests for partials and fulls. Well, as in getting positive personal feedback (albeit attached to rejections).
Still growing. Still improving. Never finished learning.
And here's the original post to prove I haven't hallucinated the whole thing: C-rap Rations For The Hippest of Snarklings, Part 1".
And now you know.