Seriously?

Why ask for feedback if you are not going to take it seriously? This is the beginning line I use on myself every time I sit down to work on the hard task of rewriting my novel.

Writing a book takes creativity, yes, but so much more than that. It takes big-picture thinking combined with a near obsession for details. Words, actions, and unspoken feelings must be clearly presented in order for readers to enter a relationship with the story’s characters. Isn’t that what keeps readers reading?

I finally get the last chapter written to my satisfaction, take a day or two to celebrate, and send the manuscript to my readers. I know more work is needed, but hope for only minor tweaks. Six readers of different ages, life experiences, and gender—and they all ask the same questions. Seriously? The funny thing is, I struggled with those same questions and couldn’t come up with a good way to deal with them, so I wrote around them. Obviously, that wasn’t enough to satisfy my readers.

So, I’m back at the drawing board. And before each rewrite session, during the rebellion-against-hard-work and why-do-I-even-think-I-like-writing hurdle I have to jump over each time in order to get to work, I utter my new mantra: Why ask for feedback if you are not going to take it seriously?

Thank you, readers. I do appreciate your input. Don’t feel bad about the blood, sweat, tears, and sitzfleisch (butt-to-chair glue) I am going through. I love you anyway, and my book will be better because of you. Please ignore the “Misquito Whammy” in the photo.

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