Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Pilot Post: A Writer's Family

I read this remark today on one of the forums I frequent:
“What I love about writers is that we encourage each other and think there's room for all of us!”

Sure, the statement is fundamentally true, but that's not what struck me when I read it. What struck me is that it’s a sentiment that every plugged-in writer feels every time we ask for help from our community. We are each other’s biggest fans, cheerleaders, and marching band all in one. Once we’ve found our beloved critique partner(s), we’ve found family.

This blog is dedicated to my cyber family of writers. We’re not each other’s editor, but we provide editorial feedback so that our writer-cousins have a better chance at success. 

But when I first started out, not as a writer—as a critiquer, I didn’t know what the heck to say to another writer. Who was I to tell them that their story didn’t work for me? I tended to re-read their piece until I figured out what they meant, and then congratulated them for the intention behind the piece.

Helpful? Nope.

Now further into my critiquerly journey, I’m strengthening my skills and providing more helpful feedback.

Not An Editor will focus on the critique process for manuscripts, query letters, and any other piece related to professional writing. Guest critiques, common writing tics, and self-editing topics will each take turns in the spotlight on this blog.

Take a second to let me know what critique topics you’d like me to cover. Or, ask questions and I’ll research for an answer (grammar, structure, etc.). Hopefully, the journey of this blog will be one of critiquerly growth, which is just as important and very related to writerly growth.


Cat said...

easy to learn grammar tricks would be nice.
Also, helpful features of writing software (like word) or links to pages of interest.

BTW, I like your color scheme. But maybe you want to insert an interesting picture at the top as a header.(?)

rosehips said...

Sometimes I don't feel qualified to crit someone's stuff. Will's first chapter comes to mind. My impression isn't that it's bad, but that I can't appreciate it and therefore can't provide feedback. So a post addressing that dilemma would be interesting. :)

Marybk said...

Thanks, Cat. I'm working on the page layout. I'll have to think of an intersting pic for the header. Great suggestion. Yes, yes. Grammar tips: on the list.

Sophia - I know where you're coming from. Fantastic dilemma to address. I'll put it in the cue. :)

Krisz said...

It was about time, Mary. Congrats on your blog! Knowing how involved you are, it is going to be one of the many, many blogs out there that will be worth to follow.

As to what interests me:

I don't read certain genres, mainly because I don't enjoy them, yet there are times when I "have to" critique a work from one of those genres I don't enjoy. I don't even feel qualified to do so. What to do in those cases? (I guess it's the same topic as Rosehip's, but mine is stated in a very awkward way, which you should be used to by now.)
Other question:
How can I follow any blog when I can hardly find time to write. (I don’t follow any blog, except for this one.) And how to decide which blogs to follow without feeling overwhelmed by the amount of blogs out there?
I think these are the things right now that I can think of, but later I will probably have more stuff.

Good luck with this blog! You just keep astounding me.

Marybk said...

Thanks, Krisz. I'm going to tackle that first question of yours and rosehip's soon.

And I appreciate being the only blog you follow. For now.

Trekelny said...

Mary, it looks great, nice job. I think critiquing is just a human activity- we all comment on each other's hairstyle, clothes, why not writing? Some look for the nice thing to say, others rip into the details, and some wait to say anything until your back is turned!

And Rose,not to worry- my first chapter was indeed terrible! I see that better now, and it doesn't hurt my belief in the worth of the story nearly as much as I thought.

Marybk said...

Thanks, Trekelny. I agree. LOL on your 1st chapter...see how great it was to get feedback on it, though?

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