Every week, The Adventurous Writer features a writing strategy from Quips & Tips for Successful Writers (or another first-rate source!). This week, the strategy is “let your writing go.”
“The best writing advice I ever received was to not get attached to your words,” says editor and freelance writer Alyice Edrich of the Dabbling Mum. “When we allow ourselves to get emotionally attached to what we’ve written – which is really easy to do as a creative artist – we don’t allow ourselves to improve and grow as writers.”
As a freelance magazine writer, I’ve learned to disconnect from my writing. It’s easier when it’s a nonfiction health article (one of my favorite types to write!)…but definitely more difficult when the writing contains a little bit of my heart and soul.
For instance, I wrote Learning to Write Without Fear and Trembling for a writer’s contest…and didn’t win. That stung! Not being accepted when you get all creative and vulnerable stings more than when an editor requests an edit on an assigned article or a publisher rejects a book proposal. That’s easy.
Regarding letting your writing go, Edrich says: “While it is true that some critiques are a matter of opinion and can be easily ignored, other critiques are a matter of business. Editors, for instance, often come back with suggestions to change paragraphs, delete sentences, increase background information or sources, or overhaul certain grammatical errors. Those critiques can sting and hurt our egos; even make us feel like failures or as though we’ve been personally attacked. The problem occurs when we don’t take those critiques objectively and choose unprofessional attitude, causing the editor to wish she’d never given us a chance to work with her in the first place.”
Letting your writing go – and welcoming feedback or critiques – is crucial to your growth as a writer.
Can you let your writing go? I’m working on three sample chapters for a publisher, for See Jane Soar. I’m not worried about letting it go…I’m more concerned about getting it started! (They requested a slightly different spin and I’m stuck. Wish me luck!)
To read the article that contained Edrich’s advice, go to How to Edit, Revise, Rewrite Your Writing.
For more tips on this writing strategy, read How to Let Go of Your Writing.