Weekly Photo Challenge. Layer on the Praise

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The photo challenge this week is, the sign says. When we travel, I am the one who takes pictures of signs. Here is one of my all-time favourites, applicable to so many situations in life.

As I look at this sign, I find myself thinking that writing is a lonely endeavour. I have spent months on my first draft, which by its very nature is something personal, between me and the story I’m trying to tell. It is not ready for public consumption. Even though I’m well aware of that fact, it’s hard to keep quiet. I get to a point where I am dying to talk about the characters and the story. The compulsion is even stronger now as I work on the second draft. It’s still not even ready for beta readers, but I’m more eager than ever to talk. Herein lies the danger that the sign eludes to.

Where do you find someone who understands what this early stage of the process is like for a writer? It is unlikely that we will find ourselves married or partnered with other writers, and that’s probably for the best. But I need someone who knows that if I break down and yammer on about the storyline, or the characters, or go into a complete tailspin and actually read something aloud, the only response acceptable is unqualified praise.

I need to be built up. I’m running a marathon, and I’m getting tired. Where are the supporters on the side-lines handing out fruit and energy drinks?

The last thing I want is critique. Believe me, there will be more than enough time for that down the road, and I’m well aware of that fact.

Heed the sign above. If a writer shares something with you at this early stage, plaster a gigantic smile and your face and layer on the praise. Otherwise you might find yourself at the mercy of the danger this sign describes.

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11 comments on “Weekly Photo Challenge. Layer on the Praise

  1. Wayne says:

    Francis,
    That is truly a great post! So well described, I particularly liked ” Where are the supporters on the side-lines handing out fruit and energy drinks?” Keep up the good work!
    Wayne

  2. I feel lucky to have a writing buddy or two. We takes turns blathering on about or bemoaning our work. Although we have to be VERY specific with each other about what we’re asking for – especially if it’s not a critique. Those miscues are often met with silence!

  3. Francis…you have me lol. I love your work and find myself often in a similar situation of solitude. My immediate companions don’t even want to beta read . I would be honored to tell you that your writing is wonderful and to applaud whenever you ask. 🙂

    • Thanks so much. It is quite a dilemma – we spend so much time in these worlds we create. It feels at times like Crater Lake is more real to me than the actual lake I live beside. My daughter tells me that when I talk about the characters, if she’s not listening closely to how the conversation starts, she thinks I’m talking about real people. Now, that can be confusing. Then I’ll hear her go – Oh my God – you’re talking about the book. I try not to hear the – again – that is unspoken. Oh well – I suppose we should be happy anyone tolerates us at all.

      • He. I prefer to think of it as a gift and they are lucky to have us lol. Mine don’t even do me the courtesy of listening so—in my insanity– I’m mostly flying solo. If I do get caught up in a story my friends are quick to point out that they are tired of it…
        So, I’ll cut you a deal. You listen to me rant about Marithe sometimes and I’ll accept the life on the lake in exchange easily 🙂 You are a talented writer. Yes…sometimes we are a little crazy.

  4. […] Weekly Photo Challenge. Layer on the Praise « disappearinginplainsight […]

  5. […] Weekly Photo Challenge. Layer on the Praise « disappearinginplainsight […]

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