Thursday, September 30, 2010

Goober Writers Anonymous--Victoria Caswell

Goober Writers Anonymous is a group for writers to vent about past or present writerly mistakes for therapeutic reasons, to educate others, or just for a laugh.  If you would like to join the group and sign up to submit a guest post, please leave me your email address in the comments below.

Perks of joining:  You get to put the nifty little badge on your blog (yes, this does indeed make you cool), sharing with others and being a part of a group is always fun, and I will put a link to your blog on my blog below under Members of GWA.

Today's guest blogger is Victoria Caswell from Hairnets and Hopes.  Vic is a special kind of awesome.  She's one of those people who's enormously talented and doesn't even know it.  And I'm lucky enough to have her as my beta!  Yeah, I hit the jackpot with that one.  Please visit her fun, witty, and all-around great blog and become a follower.  I'll wait.

Back yet?  Excellent.  Now enjoy her post!

Goober offense: But My Mama says? Crit-What?

Heya guys! Emily’s great, isn’t she? 

Well, I’m still fairly new to this lovely process of seeking publication, so I’m still goobering it up every day! I wonder if we ever get past the goobers… I wonder if we want to! It’s in the mistakes of life that we learn the most! (I should be a stinkin’ genius by now!!!)

Anyway! One of my BIGGEST mistakes was taking my first draft and only showing it to my loved ones (hubby and mama) and taking their love-blinded advice and praise and letting myself believe it. Now, my hubs and mom are BRILLIANT, honest, creative people. My mom’s tried for publication herself, and the hubs- well goodness- he’s tougher than House off-meds! But even they aren’t immune to what I call “The Hometown Band Effect.”

Have you ever become groupie-crazy-obsessed about some band that just happens to be local? You go to all the concerts, gossip with your friends about how cute the bass-guitarist is, and tattoo their logo on your ankle? Years later, you listen to a recording of them, and sure they’re pretty good, but the magic that you thought they had… well, it’s gone.

Not that this exact thing happened to me- my hometown band Anavox still rocks socks- dudes!!! Need proof?  Click on the song!

Find more artists like Anavox at MySpace Music

Rockin', huh?  I'm no liar! :)

Just like that rock concert, when you’re up close to that stage, the noise, the thrumming of the enthusiastic crowd…
The soaring melodies soar higher, there are no intonation problems, there is just fervor and power and enjoyment. That’s what it’s like for our loved ones when they read our WIP’s. They cannot see/ hear the flaws clearly. They are too close to us, too close to the project.

And too much proximity, my fellow goobers, can KILL your manuscript!

So. Find a critique partner.
Find someone who is not your friend or family (although they might become your BFF later!)
Find someone who knows the business, the craft.
Someone who is trying to become better.
 Someone you can help.
Someone who can help you.

You NEED objective, quasi-professional crit. You NEED it yesterday! :)

I suggest this place for finding a good crit partner. It’s where I found my irreplaceable gal-friday Yosh! And Yosh’s advice has TRANSFORMED my WIP!

Thanks for listening...  errr... reading... and if you clicked on the song, listening.... i guess. :)
Thanks for having me Em!

Great advice!  Although, I'll admit my family did just the opposite with me.  :o  But still, always better to find help elsewhere and places like the Bransforums is a great place to start!

Thanks, Vic!

Discussion:  Praise time!  Do you guys have any great betas or CPs you'd like to praise today?  Go right ahead!  Or if this goober tale reminded you of your own early only-family-gets-to-see-this mistakes, share those too!

~Emily White


  1. Great post. I have to say, my mother read my first WIP and said nothing. ie it was garbage. I think she lived in fear for many years that I would give up my day job and move in with her if she showed any support. Now that she knows I won't, she gives me all sorts of useless opinions. Crit groups and betas are priceless.

  2. Melissa--Yeah, that's pretty much what I got from my family. Or sometimes it was the, "weeeellll...I like *this* part..." Aka: he really had to dig deep to find something he could praise.

    Thanks for your comment!

  3. *singing the praises of yosh!*
    la la la la lovely yosh!!!
    *warble, gurgle, spurt*
    (be glad i didn't attach a sound bite!)
    and hoping to add a beta when i finish slogging through this wretched rewrite!

  4. Haha! It's very true that we can't rely on only our friends and family for critique. Even if they do know anything about writing they'll be love blind and will tell you what you want to hear.

    I have three very supportive and insightful critique groups that give fabulous constructive advice. Love it!



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