Thursday, October 7, 2010

Perfectionism omelet, with a side of frustration


I thought that outburst would make me feel better, but it didn’t. Odd.

Larry and I were going over the next chapter to hand out to the critique group, and I just really don’t feel good about it. It feels rough. There isn’t much humor. Typos, scene order, points of view, WILL THE ERRORS NEVER END?!

Finally, after vehemently lamenting the quality of our work for the gazillionth time, Larry said, “I don’t think it’s that bad,” grinding my verbal stampede to a halt.

Yes, it’s true that I’m a perfectionist. A nitpicker. Impossible to please. I know these things about myself, and although I try to suppress the tendencies, they occasionally ooze out like cheese from an omelet.

But could he be right? Really? I decided I should open my mind to the possibility.

After Larry corrected a five-line paragraph in which I’d started four of the sentences with the word “He”, he continued, “I think we should just let the group have it and see what they say.”

Giving it to the critique group before I’ve massaged, hammered it, and coerced it into submission makes me uncomfortable, and it’s because I don’t take criticism well. Oh, sure, I sit at group and smile and nod, but my stomach churns when I hear, “I don’t buy that,” or “Not your best chapter,” or “I’m lost.”

So what’s a girl to do?


Didn’t help that time either.  Darn it. Maybe I can learn from Larry’s laid-back wisdom and just see what the group says. Maybe their critiques won’t be bad—maybe it’s just me.

But that doesn’t mean that I won’t ooze cheese.

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