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Wow! Sometimes it hurts, doesn’t it? I just read 3 chapters to my writing group and the feedback was negative. No problem. I heard the faults in my writing as I was reading aloud.

Lesson: Always read your work aloud before you share it. I could hear it more than I could see it when I was reading from my laptop at home.

Good lesson, though. One I already knew, but failed to do with these most recent chapters. I had taken some time off from daily writing and my story and characters suffered for it. Characters and action that were previously in constant motion were hobbling along. Writing that had been vibrant and alive, was barely breathing.

This reminds me of something I’ve heard for years…Don’t fall in love with your 1st, 2nd or 3rd draft (or more). If you hear criticism, take it as an opportunity to be even better, to grow with your work, to learn from your readers.

 I have to perform CPR on my lifeless chapters so that I and my readers fall in love with my characters and their lives.

Never be afraid to work harder to improve your craft, whatever it is.