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How To Freak Out Your Inner Critic

Okay, finally after the kids have been back in school now for five whole weeks, I’m finding time to sit down and sift through my manuscript for that one last polishing attempt.  At least I’m crossing my fingers it’s the last time.  🙂 

What I’m finding doesn’t make me happy.  Now I know you can’t count on spell check to catch all your mistakes and I’ve read through these pages numerous times checking and rechecking.  Danged if I’m not finding several of those pesky words that sound like the word I wanted to use but have an entirely different meaning.  Ah! How can this be?  There really is something about letting your story sit for a while that brings out these mistakes.  It’s like they are highlighted in bright yellow now.  

No, I didn’t mean gagged her reaction, I meant gauged her reaction.  And I didn’t want him to spill it out for the world to see, I wanted him to spell it out for the world to see.  Good grief.  Where the heck was my brain when I was writing this?  Or heck, even when I was editing it for the fiftieth time? 

I’ve been putting off working on this manuscript for numerous reasons.  All of which are lame when it all boils down to it.  So last week, I decided to give myself a little kick in the “arse” as my good friend Jenn would say. (She writes my “favorite” pirate books.)  

I was starring at the blinking curser on my computer screen, manuscript open, words filling the page but not registering in my brain and I told myself enough is enough.  I yanked out the list of agents I put together before summer hit and picked five.  Then before I could talk myself out of it, I pulled up my query letter and synopsis, typed up the emails and hit the send button.  Boy you should have heard my inner critic wake up and scream.  Hello! It’s not finished. It’s not good enough.  What the heck did you do that for?  No kidding.  I had to run for a bottle of Advil to counteract the upheaval I caused.  

Talk about a way to light a fire.  I’m itching to sit down and get busy every day now.  Just the mere possibility one of those agents might request more material has made me feel accountable.  I’ve got work to do.  Some kind of rusty switch flicked on inside me and that wonderful feeling of excitement and expectation is back.  And to make sure it doesn’t dissipate in a few days, I’m getting five more queries ready to send out next week and every week after that till I run out.  

Maybe I’ve actually pushed myself over that thin brittle line I’ve been walking lately and lost my mind.  That’s what it feels like at times.  But I’m just happy to be writing again and enjoying the process.  NANOWRIMO is on the horizon too.  What else could a girl ask for? LOL 

What helps keep you accountable on this journey?  Or are you just that disciplined? 🙂

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5 Responses

  1. *FINALLY*!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Been waiting and waiting for you to start sending out queries to agents! And now, you do it when I’m out of town! Do I need to move to Alaska or Casablanca to keep you going?!?! (laughing)

    This is GREAT, Melissa! And long past due….:)

    P.S. When the Inner Critic starts on you again, do what I do: tell the IC to “Shut the F*** UP! and leave me alone!” Childish, perhaps, but effective….:)

  2. Congratulations on managing your IC! Keep sending and sending and sending those queries. You’re beating the @#$% at its own game! Write-ON!

  3. crossing fingers for you!

    good luck and get those pages FINISHED!

  4. Good luck, Melissa! I hope you get everything accomplished.

  5. Thanks, guys! I’ve been busy pushing my way through and it feels great! 🙂

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