I’ve been there. We’ve all been there. Sitting in the middle of a writing workshop, listening to our masterpieces get torn apart. Listening to our peers painfully saying “cut this” and “you don’t need that” is never a moment of enjoyment for a writer. But not all necessary moments in life are enjoyable-- especially in the career of a writer.
When I first started taking my writing seriously, I was 13 years old. I had been told by my eighth grade English teacher that I was good at it and a passion inside of me that I didn’t quite recognize before started to grow. Later that year, I had one of my first high school essays edited by my ninth grade English teacher; when I was handed the paper back to review the edits, it was tainted by a massacre of red pen scribbles. Needless to say, the fire of passion that was so eloquently and romantically growing inside of me flickered down to nothing but a spark. I doubted that I could be a good writer when so many edits had to be made.
Over a short period of time, I got over the drama and pouting and eventually decided to pick up a pen again.
Slowly, I began to realize that just because a piece of work needs edits, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t the masterpiece you had formed it to be. I’ll let you in on a secret: nothing (really, nothing) is going to be perfect--or even great--when you first write it. This doesn’t mean it isn’t good or doesn’t have the potential to be wonderful. But nothing can get to the final stage without critiques and honesty.
Writing is a form of art and we all have the ability to be artists. It takes time and patience to make a ball of clay into a sculpture and writing is no different. It takes constant shaping and forming and, sometimes, we end up with a final product that is completely different than when we began.Rejection and criticism, while difficult to accept, are essential steps in the writing process--learn to embrace them and allow them to shape your writing in order to build it to its full potential.