I am a writer. I love writing. Am I any good? I don’t know.
When I began writing I craved feedback. I wanted to find out whether my writing was good enough to go the next step or an enjoyable past time.
I attended a Writer’s Workshop in Port Hedland hoping no-one I knew attended. The presenter, the lovely, talented Marlish Glorie, (author of Sea Dog Hotel and The Bookshop on Jacaranda Street), saw potential. It was the confidence I needed to continue my writing for others. I submitted my first Picture Book manuscript to Kids Book Review competition and waited.
The email came back, I wasn’t a winner but the feedback was good, better than I expected. The assessor even wrote LOVED in capital letters.
This was it, I am a writer, I am going to write. I wrote articles to magazines, wrote about electrical goods, submitted to any competition I could find, joined many online writing networks as a regular contributor, began a Facebook page, Twitter account, Instagram and Pinterest. I wrote about anything and everything, no focus, no goal I just wrote.
A year later I submitted again to Kids Book Review, if I received 38.5 out of 50 last time then surely with all the writing I had been doing I would have improved. I neglected to think about the manuscript I had sent in didn’t have the year of passion, commitment and thought placed into it like the previous year’s.
This is when my reality check came in. After again the waiting, the feedback was ready. I felt like I had received a big, fat, red cross. Of course, the assessors at Kids Book Review did not put a cross on the page, but the feedback was honest, accurate and the worst I had received.
I thought long and hard. It was my wake up call.
I learnt to be a writer you need to be, focussed, passionate, committed, thick skinned, and proud.
I became focussed, I spent a lot of time deciding why I wanted to write and what I wanted to achieve from my writing. I only kept writing networks which met my goal and personality.
I stay committed to my writing goal, not allowing myself to be side-tracked by online writing opportunities.
I have become thick-skinned (well sort of) I found an editor who was honest and whom I respected. I continually research, learn and write to improve my skills.
I have pride in my work, knowing that whenever I publish anything, even the 140 characters on twitter, it is to the best of my current ability.
Am I a good writer? Who really knows.
Am I a passionate writer with a clear focus on my goal, ‘Developing children’s reading and writing skills, through stages not ages?’ Yes.
Have you ever received feedback which made you stop and think? Feel free to share below, the good the bad and the brutal.