29 Mar 2011

A Writer in Spring.

My life's busy and buzzing at the moment. Tomorrow, I'm teaching a workshop on storytelling, and I have a few other deadlines coming up, in my job as well as my writing. I'm also taking part in the April A to Z blogging challenge, which should be interesting.

Fortunately the sun is out and the days are getting warmer. I have so much energy this time of year. And it's not just me. All around, the world is waking up after a long, grey winter. The fruit trees in our garden are about to bloom, and our patio veggies are growing well. In a few weeks, we'll harvest our first greens.

In between the bustle, I've even found time to read. After Rosy Thornton's A Tapestry of Love (review inc. in a few days), I'm alternating Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird with a re-read of George R.R. Martin's A Game of Thrones.

Online, I follow quite a few blogs, and that will only increase during April's blogging challenge. Much of my online reading has to do with writing, language or the writing life. Navel-gazing is one of my many virtues.

One of the topics that keeps coming up on writers' blogs is criticism. By putting ourselves out there and publishing our work, we expose ourselves to being reviewed. In theory a review talks about our product, our creation, but in the reality of the internet, it often becomes personal, whether it was intended to be or not. Writing might not be that different from being a chef, restaurant owner or actor, in that respect.

Readers - and customers in general - have many tools at their disposal to express their joy and enthusiasm when they love what you do, but also to cut down your work when they feel they didn't get their money's worth. When you sign up for one, you sign up for the other.

Robin Black of 'Beyond the Margins' wrote an interesting article about bad reviews, from a writer's perspective: Shhh; When A Reaction To Your Work Really Means: Shut Up!

She raises a few interesting points. I'll have to think them over, after next week, when I have my deadlines behind me.
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