Don’t Quit Your Night Job
When I began writing seriously, I was actively involved on Scribophile, an online community which allows writers the opportunity to have their work critiqued for honest feedback. I gained valuable information and received helpful advice on the work I posted. I also provided critiques for some of the other members.
On one occasion, I read a chapter from someone’s WIP (work in progress) that literally caused me to shed tears. The piece was well written and contained vivid descriptions which made me feel like I was right in the story. I could almost feel the emotions expressed by the characters from the way the writer described them. So why was I in tears if I enjoyed the writing so much?
Because it made me realize how terrible my own writing was. I actually shoved my laptop over on my bed, curled into a fetal position and cried. There was no way I'd ever be able to write so beautifully. So why did I even bother trying? I don’t remember how long I stayed like that, but at some point that same day, I did get up and continue writing.
I'm willing to bet something similar happens to many writers at some point during their writing journey. We compare our writing to that of others, put ourselves down and beat ourselves up. What we need to remember when this happens, is that everyone has a different style of writing. We come from different backgrounds and have varying education levels. We’ll meet writers who have been practicing the craft for much longer, or who were more financially able to take writing classes.
If you ask any author if they notice a difference between the first book they wrote and their most recent, more than likely the answer will be ‘yes’. Every writer I have discussed this with has the same reaction I do: “Oh my God! My first story was crap. I can’t believe I wrote that… and got it published.”
It’s pointless for me to say, “Don’t compare yourself to other writers,” because we’re going to do it anyway, whether it’s intentional or not. What I will say, though, is that if you do get to a point where you throw yourself on your bed and cry because you think your writing is crap, make sure you eventually get back up. Don’t quit your “night job”. Keep writing. It’s a process. Your writing will improve the more you keep at it. Ask for feedback. Go to conferences. Take courses when you can. Your writing doesn’t have to be like anyone else’s. Nor does it have to be super-sophisticated. It just has to be good writing.
About the author
Sha Renée is a native New Yorker who joined the US Navy right after high school. She now lives in New Jersey where she creates stories on the pages where duty, honor and passion unite.
The mother of three delights in meeting readers as well as networking with fellow authors, so she’ll attend a book-signing event or conference whenever she can. She’s the creator and organizer of a local writing group in her community, Emerging Authors of New Jersey and is the organizer of the Princeton, NJ chapter of Shut Up & Write! ™.
As a nature lover, Sha enjoys spending time outdoors, usually with a camera in her hands. She has a passion for motorcycles and sports cars and is a fan of auto racing, military air shows and The X Games - pretty much any high-speed activity involving wheels or wings.
She hates cooking, loves music and believes every day should include a cup of hot coffee and a glass of chilled wine.
Sha Renée is the author of Forbidden Kisses, a Military Romance staring Ethan and Layla, both members of the US Navy. After meeting in a coffee shop while each of them is off duty, they fall for one another before either realizes the other’s military status. He’s an officer and she’s an enlisted member. A personal relationship between them is prohibited by military law under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Once they discover their romance is forbidden, they’re faced with a heart-wrenching decision: They can follow the rules or follow their hearts.
Forbidden Kisses is available on Amazon
Here’s where you can find Sha Renée