Tom Palmer's writing blog - How I write: how you write, Part One spring term
Posted by Tom Palmer
10 Jan 2012
…On not feeling angry when someone criticises something you’ve done
I have nearly finished the second book in the Squad series. I’ve been working on it since September. It’s called White Fear and is set in the Arctic Circle.
I finished the first full draft just before Christmas and I showed it to the person I always show it to first: my lovely wife.
My lovely wife is honest about my books and often right. This time before Christmas she was very honest. A bit too honest, to be honest. She pointed out quite a few things that she thought weren’t very good. Like the way the book began and most of the key scenes. Not easy to listen to.
I took it badly.
I didn’t get cross: I just went all gloomy and started feeling sorry for myself. I wasn’t nasty. I was just grumpy. I also thought she was wrong about most of it, but I kept my mouth shut.
And I’m glad I did.
The next day I started work on the changes. It was a new day. I’d had a good night’s sleep. I read through the bits she’d criticised. And…
… well it seems she was right. Pretty much everything she said was spot on (like I said, she’s often right).
Do you get like that? Not just about stuff you’ve written or made. Maybe about something you’ve done in sport.
Next time I will try not to be grumpy with my lovely wife when she gives me good advice. I will take it, mull it over and then decide if I agree.
But that’s easier said than done.
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