Recently I won a 10 page critique by a published author who I admire and respect. My first reaction was excitement. Someone who knows writing was actually going to read the first ten pages of my book. My second reaction was panic. Someone who knows writing was actually going to read the first ten pages of my book ~ gulp. I started feeling sick to my stomach, a normal reaction to things I fear since I was a child.
The more I thought about the critique, the sicker I felt. In reality, this particular piece wasn’t ready for prime-time viewing since I hadn’t had time to do any editing. As it turned out, I wasn’t going to have time to edit, it had to be sent immediately.
As I attached the 10 pages to the body of the e-mail, I took a deep breath and hit send. It was gone, out of my hands and under the all- seeing eyes of a published author. I took a Tums and went to bed, but I didn’t sleep.
All night, negative thoughts raced through my mind. I wasn’t good enough. Why did I enter a contest I’m obviously not ready for? She’s going to rip it to shreds. You won’t even let your family read your writing, so why are you sending it to her?
The next day, I was in dire need of some strong coffee as well as a big dose of courage. When I logged into my e-mail, there it was, the subject line read “Your 10 page critique” and below, the attachment. I knew reading this critique would be life changing for me and boy was it ever…..