Monday, March 12, 2012

Cleaning Before the Maid Arrives

Last night I had terrible writer's block.  I have been working on a manuscript for the past week or so, and it is just not "right" yet.  Its not what is in my head or what my vision is for the piece.  Which is fine.  That just means that I am not done yet.  And I know there are many revisions in my future.

However, the issue is that I have to submit something to my writing class tonight for critique.

I was planning on submitting this manuscript, but I truly thought it would be further along and "in a better place" by today.  But the truth is, it isn't.

So...I am struggling. 

1)  I need to submit something tonight and this is all I have.
2)  It needs a lot of work.  I could use some help figuring out what to do with it.  So in that case my class might be helpful in their critiques.
BUT...
3)  It is not something I am super proud of at this point in time, so I am leary to "put it out there" as a representation of me. 

Is this along the same lines as cleaning before the maid arrives?

Shouldn't I be excited to get some feedback and direction on something that I am currently working on? I mean, this is not the same as submitting to an agent or editor before I piece is ready.  This is purely educational.

Does anyone else struggle with this?  Any advice on how to feel better about submitting this piece? 

Any pros or cons to submitting a work for critique before its "ready"?  Share them here!  I would to hear your responses.

13 comments:

  1. I think as along as your group knows that your story is in the early stages they will understand. Also I've subjected my husband to stories that weren't very good and he helped me make them better. I would say go for it as they will probably help you make it better.

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    1. Thanks, Rena. Its truly a confidence issue. But you are right...just do it! :)

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  2. I'm in a small critique group taking turns doing small sections on our book. 20 pgs. max. Several times I've resent the same pages w/changes or send a chapter with ideas and hoping they can give me ideas of what to or what not to add. I think your fine, let the person/people know your situation and all will be fine.

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  3. Everyone knows that work submitted to a critique group is a 'work in progress'. If it was finished you wouldn't need to submit it. The feedback you will get from your group will help steer you in the right direction. They may help you consider an angle you hadn't thought of or tell you to your surprise that it works as it is!

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  4. Yes, I was just about to chime and say what everyone else here has essentially said. Sometimes I submit things to my critique group and say, "I think this is getting close, what do you think?" and sometimes I submit and say, "This is a rough draft of an idea I'm working on. You'll notice it has two endings and no middle. Ideas?"

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  5. I have this same issue, too. I only like to bring my most polished things to critique group. Sometimes for me it feels like a waste of time to have us spend 20 minutes discussing things that I already know need to be fixed. But I do it occasionally, because, like you, sometimes that is all I have to bring! And in those times, there are often suggestions from my group that help me break through whatever block I am having with it, so it can be helpful.

    But when I do bring unfinished work to them, I try to make myself be relatively quiet while they are talking about it. Because I am tempted to fill the space with, "Yeah, I know this part stinks," or, "I'm already working on a rewrite for that part," and then it really does feel like a waste of time for those that are critiquing. So I just nod and take notes and try not to be annoying :-)

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  6. Critiques are meant to help you. Especially if you are unsure it is time to put it out there. Yes, it is pleasant for the reader if you've tidied up first, but as in drawing, some of my best ideas come from messing up!

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  7. I do submit really, really unpolished shitty first drafts to my crit partner, often to say 'has this got potential? Should I work further on it?' I personally don't like to send it to my crit group until I have revised a little, but that's just me. Some months I don't submit, I just crit others' work, if I don't feel I have something ready. Is this an option for you?

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    1. Its a class...not a crit group. So I hand to hand something in for an assignment. So, no. :)

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  8. Everyone is gonna laugh at you.............including me. Especially me. Seriously, its good to bring something. U never know what advice ul get.

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    1. Har har! Its for my class, not you guys. :)

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  9. oh Marcie, I feel the same way! I kept making changes to my recent booth piece up until I got on the train. And reading the piece again on the way home, not even 20 minutes after class, I wanted to take those copies back and rewrite certain parts. "How could i not see it?!" "Oh no, they're gonna call me out on that one!" "ahhh... give it back give it back!" are pretty much my routine thoughts whenever i open my scrivener file this week (and we still have like, 5 days to go until the booth!) sigh. i'm preaching to my ego now: it's still a work in process; it's got room to grow; your classmates are awesome writers; booth sessions have always been helpful; you might be obsessing over the wrong things; let it to let it go let it go...

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  10. Nice post.. I have never did cleaning before maid arrives.. She just entire cleaning job and i am very much satisfied with the cleaning outcomes.
    end of lease cleaning

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