Saturday, July 3, 2010


So, I've decided to participate in, an online conference for children's book writers. It's a great opportunity for writers who can't make it to the regular conferences held around the world, and I'm so psyched about attending!

One of the many perks of the site include a place to upload queries and first pages, and the conference has a section open early so participants can get some input on their work. I put my query up and got some really encouraging feedback - people loved my query and thought my story would definitely be a great fit for the teen market today. I was flying high...on top of the world. No one could bring me down. That is, until one person came in with a critique, marked my query up in red, and basically didn't like or get anything about it.

When I read the critique I was a bit hurt - hell, I was crushed. I began to question all the work I'd done. Is my query completely unclear? Have I written a story that no one will want to read? Have my blood, sweat, and tears all been for nothing? I was drowning in silly sadness - all because of one person's opinion.

After speaking to my critique group, I realized that this experience is an inevitable part of the process. Just like no two readers will feel the exact same about a writer's work, no two agents will. It's not personal, it's just the way it is. And I had to realize that for the one bad critique I received, there were seven others that were overall pretty good.

So when you get one, or two, or even twenty negative or neutral responses, remember that this business is a subjective one. As a writer, you just have to trudge through those responses to get to the ones that matter - to get to the people who will love and get your work.

So, as Eddie Kendricks put it, "Keep on truckin', baby."


  1. Definitely. As you said to me, "confidence, confidence, confidence." You have a great story, and your query is tight. One negative opinion is just that. ^_^

  2. All of us writers have felt the way one negative comment can speak louder than seven positive ones, but that's something to overcome, not accept. I love your story, your query, & your voice...and your readers will, too!

  3. I think that's the thing about critiques -- sometimes someone's suggestions resonate and lead you to revise, but sometimes, you just have to say "sorry, I don't agree with your opinion" and go with your gut :)
    p.s. - 7 other crits? jealous! I only had like 4 altogether, I think, haha. Loved that conference though, great idea :)

  4. I completely agree, Ellen. I think half the battle of being a writer is learning when to take someone's critique and when not to.