Why Thick Skin is Important in Writing #AuthorToolboxBlogHop
The Author Toolbox Blog Hop is “a monthly blog hop on the theme of resources/learning for authors: posts related to the craft of writing, editing, querying, marketing, publishing, blogging tips for authors, reviews of author-related products, anything that an author would find helpful.” Want to jump into the writing tool box? Search #AuthorToolboxBlogHop or to join via blog, click here.
This month, I want to talk about the thick skin we must develop as writers. When I began the honest journey eleven years ago, I had no clue what I was getting into. I knew I loved the story. I knew I loved characters and writing worlds I could lose myself in. I had no idea writing could be more scientific than any formula I’d studied in chemistry class.
I had no idea what the industry would be like in the submission process to agents and how many times you might never receive the courtesy of a rejection note—just a simple deadline to mark on your calendar. If that date passes and you’ve heard no word, consider your submission a rejection.
It’s tough to swallow no words.
So what do you do to tackle growth and thick skin?
- Attend Active Writing Workshops
Not just theory based workshops and what the industry sees as working, but workshops where you’re given assignments, you start them and debrief with groups of other writers or professionals. Workshops with teachers in the industry like agents and editors who require initial work and give you feedback. Maybe where you’re involved with feedback too. It’s important to take in all the professional feedback you can. When I get work back, I always take a couple of days to ponder others’ thoughts. I ask myself, could they be right? I’ve found that after careful pondering, there is a great deal of truth to what they’ve commented on.
- I love Writer’s Digest by the way. I’ve learned a great deal in query letter writing, first sentences and first 10 pages that matter.
- Seek helpful feedback from readers and teachers who read what you write.
- Research your Readers
I think one important aspect of thick skin and showing others our work is to make sure they’re interested in a topic and also a certain voice. If a reader isn’t interested in the world you’ve created, their comments won’t be as helpful as you probably need.
- Prepare Yourself for Opportunities to Grow and Learn
Follow your favorite writers on Instagram, Blogs, or Facebook. When I wrote my first draft of my first novel, I was so proud of myself. I wasn’t aware of what I had to learn in the craft so others would see my work as good as it was to me. I follow Maggie Stiefvater, one of my first Young Adult favorite authors. Her blog is quite extensive with topics and personal accounts. She wants to help. From what I’ve read, she has realistically shares everything she knows.
- Study the Craft of Writing in Your Genre
Take writing classes, hire a writing coach, submit to editors interested in your genre and voice. I’ll write more next time about my writing coach. She’s changed my writing world.
Read the competition you wish to pursue. Read the comments on the books and what people love about them.
In sum, thick skin is important. It allows others who want to help you have the courage to do so in confidence. It allows you to grow into the writer you wish and dream to be. Finally, having a thick skin prepares you for the other words of advice you may receive from those anonymous folk who just want to say a word because they don’t know your face. It’s taken me years. I have my armor. I also know when it’s a good time to set it aside and be the real me. 🙂
Happy Hop Day 🙂