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Random thoughts from a woman in love

I love to write. I have no interest in writing the great American novel (that’s already been done – can’t do any better then Ms. Harper Lee did when she created a beautiful character named Atticus Finch).  I just love putting pen to paper (yes, I still do that in this day and age).  There is something both relaxing and challenging at the same time when I put ideas and emotions into words.

I had the idea of writing a guide for single moms, but have yet to get it done.  I have the title, “How I Learned to Pee Standing Up in the Woods, A Single Mom’s Guide to Raising an Eagle Scout”.  I also have 4 chapters written.  I can’t say they are done, but they are documented on my laptop…somewhere…I can’t remember where I stored them (again).

My sisters tell me that what I’ve written so far is good – funny, touching, fitting for today’s parental units.  But they are my sisters – they have to say that kind of stuff because, if they don’t, I might hit them.  I don’t think I would take kindly to a critic trashing my work, so I keep my writings safely tucked away.  My skin is thin when it comes to my writing – I react almost as if someone is criticizing my son.  How dare they?

I’m not even good at listening to critique that I know is accurate, though not necessarily appropriate.  I nearly decked a mom who commented that MY son wasn’t very good at baseball…grrrrrrr! Clench fist, protect thumb, bring elbow back, aim… Then I stopped.  She was right.  He throws like a girl (my fault – I taught him everything I know about the game, including how to throw.  I know a lot about baseball – it’s my spring/summer/fall passion and I dream about it during the long winter –  but I can’t throw to save my life.  Quite sad.)  I told her “You’re right.  He throws like me, and the game just isn’t his passion. But you should see him rock climb, swim, teach other Boy Scouts First Aid or listen to him play classical guitar while singing songs he has written.  He’s THE best at those things!  Baseball he does for me.  Isn’t he sweet?”

I had finished a beautiful queen-size quilt by myself.  It was so pretty, lovely colors, intricate quilting, DONE! (For those of you who are not and do not know a quilter – DONE is amazing all unto itself.)  I brought it to work to show a friend of mine.  While it lay spread out on the conference table, with my co-workers drooling over it, our VP of Sales stepped into the room.  He walked around the table, studying the quilt for nano-seconds, pointed to a section along the border and said, “You made a mistake here.”  To this day, that’s all I ever see on that quilt.  I don’t see the warm autumn colors, the leaves I quilted on it or the perfect way the compass pieces came together with crisp points and straight seams.  All I see is that one, stupid mistake.  *sigh* How can I let others critique my writing if I can’t even accept a little mistake on a quilt that I made for myself??

How do you handle critique? Any guidance would be appreciated ’cause I’m just not very good at it at all.


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