Let’s talk about dominance and submission, and no, I don’t mean in BDSM play, either. There are all kinds of situations where you can experience being in charge–or not. One situation where you definitely do not feel in charge is when you submit your work to readers who critique what you’ve written. I admit, I’ve been somewhat lucky. I got a professional article published on my first submission. When I was writing my first novel, most readers who critiqued my work responded in the affirmative, liking what they heard/read. But that doesn’t mean my work stood alone, written to perfection, the first time around. Oh, no! Each critique person had their own perspective on what needed to happen or what needed a tweak. Now, I must admit that I’m not too attached to what I write because of this one thing: I LIKE THE CHALLENGE OF WRITING–PERIOD! That being said, I found that listening to my beta readers and editors only made me a stronger writer. Did I follow every piece of advice? Not always. If I believed the suggestion changed the story too much or wouldn’t make my tale or characters better, then I held my ground. On the whole, much of the suggestions I received did, in fact, make the story better. Incorporating the re-writes added more depth to the whole picture I was trying to present to the reader.
The sad part is, I find many writers don’t really care to hear feedback. They’re so in love with their stuff, they can’t be objective. That’s too bad, and for the reasons I mentioned earlier. But the truth is, I want someone to tell me how to improve, especially if they enjoyed my story and might purchase more of my work. I personally believe that my writing is for me first, but it definitely must be created for my audience too. So I’ve learned to submit myself to the pleasure-pain of reader critiques, because the beauty of the experience is feeling writer’s orgasm: strong waves of pleasure and deep satisfaction in knowing I’ve created a much stronger piece of work, suitable and more enjoyable for my audience. The last thing I desire is to feel the lash of disapproval from those who read my stories simply because I didn’t take the time to make my characters, plot, and overall writing the best they could be. And and let’s face it, we all know the whip-wielding reviewers on Amazon can bring you to your knees!