Being Objective about Our Own Writing

   One of the hardest things that writers have to do is to be objective about their own
   work. And I can certainly attest to how difficult it is to be objective. It is easy to be
   all eager about the first draft and how you are writing.  The project is new, the plot
   is new and you feel really pumped up and happy to finally be writing the story.
   However, once you write it down, the real difficulties start. You have to revise
   your work as if you are the editor. You have to see the benefits and drawbacks of
   your manuscript.  You have to determine what works and what doesn’t. But how
   can one gain objectivity about our own work.  I have found several ways that really
   work for me.
   1.  Make sure that you put your first draft aside for a few weeks so that you
   could get some distance between that initial draft and your next draft.
   2.  Move on to another manuscript for a while. You may want to draft up a new
   story or you may want to revise another one. Make sure that you are always
   working on something that is interesting and moving you along as a writer.
   3.  Learn how to be your own critic. This is especially the case for the first few
   drafts of your manuscript. Once you master the elements of a picture book, make
   sure that your story follows these elements perfectly. Make sure your plot is strong,
   and that your story line moves along. I will talk more about the basics of creating a
   proper picture book story later on.
   4.  Find a way to pull yourself back from the intimacy of your own story and
   read the story as if you are an outsider with objectivity. One way that I achieve this
   is to wear a set of funky reading glasses that are different from my regular ones.
   They are usually magnifiers and they make me focus on the different aspects of my
   prose and my story.
   5.  Try not to be emotionally committed to any of the words that you have
   written in your picture book. Instead, have a fluid relationship with the words and
   prose so that changing them won’t be such a pain for you.
   So, how objective can you be when revising your manuscripts?  Learn to be more
   objective. That way, you’ll be able to revise your manuscript properly before you
   send it off for someone else to look at it.
   ~ Irene


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