Here's my advice for today: Surround yourself with good writers who are TOUGH when they critique your work. Really tough. Because when they give you a compliment, you'll know they really mean it.
That's my experience this week, and it's given me the final nudge out of my funk. I'd venture to say, at the risk of sounding ridiculously theatrical, that my heart is singing again. And I'm ready to dive into my new WIP.
Amazing how a few WOWs from trusted readers can imbue the confidence that, for a while, was all but lost. And the WOW from someone who hasn't read me yet felt good, too. Just because she's artless and sincere and slightly adorable.
I don't like fluffy words meant to soothe. We all crave affirmation, but we won't grow without responding well to critique. So when I've been through the wringer with folks who've cared enough to pick my work apart, and then they "OOO!" and "AHH!" over something new, it's...well, amazing.
You know who you are. Thank you.
Next step? Setting aside perfectionism and the intense pressure of living up to the WOWs in order to simply WRITE this thing. I swear, this journey is more about self-discovery and emotional growth than anything.
It's all good.
Also? Another Amazing Person has pinpointed what's wrong with my dystopian. For the first time since the endless parade of wow-you-write-well-but-I-don't-want-to-represent-you's, I feel like I can FIX this thing. So thank you, Amazing Person.
That's going to wait a while, though. The WIP beckons, and I'm incredibly excited about it. (It's YA urban fantasy, in case you were insatiably curious.)
There you have it. I hope you have Tough Critters and Amazing People in your life, too. I wouldn't be where I am today without mine.