Musing: The Heartbreak of Falling in Love with Your Work.

Some may think that having low esteem of your work is a bad sign.  It’s only true if it manifests as a crippling doubt that prevents you from creating.   Otherwise, the opposite is much more dangerous.   If you create something and fall in love with it:  Chances are good there is something wrong with it.

235211-fall-in-love-hd

You should probably see a doctor about that.

I’ve been writing seriously for about three years now, and this phenomenon is pretty consistent with feedback I receive.  The more excited I get about a piece as I’m writing it, the more likely the blinders go up and I miss things like typos and omitted words.

The main problem is your mind starts to see the perfect form of a piece and not what is actually going on the paper.   If you are writing for other people, you need to make sure other people can understand and appreciate it.   Sounds simple right?

In that light, it is important to develop a controlled sense of cynicism.  Establish a goal or a potential scene and craft it accordingly.   You lay down the ground work, make sure all your bases are covered, and look over it once your mind has a bit of detachment to the piece.

Once you do that you can worry about making the piece a masterpiece.   If you look at the framework carefully, you see the holes and can begin to fill the gaps with substance.  When the first coat of paint is put on it, that’s a great time to show someone else.   They can express their confusion or where they think things lack.   It feels particularly awesome when someone points out something you specifically added on your first revision.   That builds confidence, which is way better than ‘talent’.

writing_jealousy

How not to respond to critique.

More importantly, this prevents going back to the piece some time later and realizing how much better it could be.   That is an extended version of what I suggest you do in the first place, so why not just nip the learning experience in the bud, and hop on the fast track to improvement.

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