April 30, 2012

Z is for...ZOMG! CPs R GR8

And I hate myself right now for typing that title. I'm one of those freakshows who insists on typing full words with proper punctuation in text messages and the like. That title just made me shrivel up and die a little inside (despite being entirely true). For those who don't get this gibberish, allow me to translate:

ZOMG→ Oh my gosh!
CPs→ Critique Partners
R→ Are
GR8→ Great

I've listened to so many of you rave about your CPs and how much they've helped you in your writing journey. Secretly, I was always thinking one or both of the following things:

1)  No way, no how am I comfortable sending off my writing to somebody I've never actually met.
2)  Is it really necessary to have a CP? I mean, I'm the one who wrote the story. I'm the one who knows what happens. CPs will just force me to change stuff I don't want to change, blah blah blah.

[Insert giant raspberry sound]. But what was really my underlying problem? → In a word, FEAR. I was terrified to find a CP and send them my WiP, because "ZOMG, my writing probably sucks!" And if my writing sucks, they're going to criticize it, and I'm going to have to change everything... You get the idea. It's that first humongous step you take, putting yourself and your work out there.

ZOMG! IT'S NERVE-WRACKING.

And then Elodie 'popped the question', asking me if I'd like to be her CP. I had to decide between being a chicken, or seizing a really great opportunity. I chose the latter. And you guys? It's been great so far. My sister, Erin, and I bounce story ideas/details off one one another, and have read parts of each other's WiPs. We know the ins and outs of both stories, so much so that's it's probably difficult at this point to be completely objective. We're too close to them. Our 'writing conferences' are invaluable, but both of us know that an outside source who doesn't know our stories is going to catch potential problems that we might miss. A CP is a pretty important ingredient in this process.

Enter Elodie and the really useful suggestions she's already given me. We've swapped just the beginning of our stories, but already I can tell that this is going to be good for both of us. I'm enjoying her WiP, and vice versa. And not only is Elodie's advice helping my writing, critiquing her story is helping my writing too. I'm really happy I stopped being a chicken and took that plunge.

And you know what? My story doesn't totally suck! ☺

*     *     *
I've enjoyed this A to Z Challenge immensely, but I'm also kind of relieved that I won't have to blog every single day anymore. It's going to be quiet on the blog for the next three weeks because we're headed to Scotland the day after tomorrow—ZOMG! That came up quick. But, I'll be back, and I'll have fun pictures and stories to tell. If you're looking for blogging prompts for the month of May, you should check out Blog Me MAYbe. It's a Monday—Friday blog schedule with really great topics.

P.S. This will quite possibly be the last time I ever use ZOMG or other text-speak. Just. Can't. Do. It.
  

25 comments:

  1. Congrats on making it to the end of the A-Z challenge. Time sure flies when you're having fun, doesn't it? I'm also one of those so-called "freakshows" who insists on typing out proper words and sentences, be it a text or instant message. Glad to know there are others out there. :)

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    1. It did go really fast and was really fun to do! Haha, glad I'm not the only fastidious texter. :D

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  2. Yes, CP's are awesome!

    I laughed when I read your title, already suspecting how much you cringed upon writing it. LOL.

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    1. Haha! Yeah, not a big fan of text-speak, though I have been known to drop the occasional 'lol' in comments. But that's where I draw the line. :)

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  3. LOL. Jaime, your humor is great.

    You've rocked the A-Z. I'm exhausted for you! And yes, sending your work out there is scarrrrry... but essential. Those extra pairs of eyes can make or break a WIP (in my opinion!) :D

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    1. Thanks, Morgan! :) I think you're right about the extra pair of eyes. I need that good healthy dose of criticism before sending it off to agents.

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  4. I'm in awe of everyone who did the challenge. Congrats on getting to Z!
    CPs are great. :)

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    1. Thanks, Rebecca :) It was fun, but I'm glad it's done. And yes, CPs are well worth having, in my opinion.

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  5. CPs are awesome!

    And congrats on completing the A-Z challenge!

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    1. Thanks, Juliana. :) Lots of fun, but lots of work too! But, it was definitely nice having the topics planned out ahead of time for the month. I might have to start doing that from here on in.

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  6. I love this! I'm so glad you found a great crit partner. Sometimes I wonder what the value of multiple crit partners would be. I have a great one but am thinking about seeking out a second. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I think a lot of people have multiple CPs because people pick up on different things. And they bring multiple viewpoints to the table. I could probably use more than one CP too, as long as it didn't take too much time away from actually writing. :)

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  7. Congrats on taking the CP plunge and for completing A-Z. Both are great!

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    1. I definitely feel better having finally taken that plunge. It was scary leading up to it, but each time I share my writing it ends up boosting my confidence a little. Not to the point where I think "I am SO awesome", but it does help squash the negative effects of self-doubt. Glad I took the plunge. :)

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  8. You must be feeling like a million bucks right now (and you should!) The A-Z was really fun to read--and totally daunting to think about writing (but I'm thinking I will next year! And I'm doing Blog Me MAYbe because I want to get on a more regular schedule.) Have a wonderful trip!

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    1. It was super fun to do, and it was nice having a topic pre-selected for each day (I made up my plan ahead of time). I think I might have to do more planning in advance for future blog posts. :) I'd love to participate in Blog Me MAYbe, but I think I'll have to be a late joiner (like May 20th onward) because we're away.

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  9. ZOMG, I can´t believe you use ZONG :D
    Your post made me go awwwwww!
    I am SO SO happy you said yes to Jaime, I had a very good feeling about it and right after that first swap, I simply know that it´s going to work!
    Your story DOES NOT suck, it´s actually quite great and I cannot wait to read more! Like you, I am learning so much from both sides: the reading/critiquing and being read/critiqued!
    Thank YOU!

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    1. This CP partnership is just helpful in so many ways, don't you think? I feel better too knowing that I've actually put my work out there. It's the first step in being brave enough to query your work. I'm ooking forward to this! :D

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  10. Oh -Scotland! You lucky girl! Enjoy yourself.

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    1. Thank you! We're both pretty excited. :D

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  11. Congratulations on finishing the challenge.... I'm glad it's over :)
    CP's are essential I think, to taking our stories to the next level. Like you said, we're just too close to our own stories and it's easy to miss holes. And, it's amazing when you click with someone.. it makes it for a wonderful experience.
    Have so much fun on your trip.

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  12. It was so great to meet you through the challenge and I look forward to reading your blog now thats it over too :) CPs are great. It took me a while to find them/lose them/find new ones but hey we all live and learn right? :)

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  13. I, too, avoid the usage of OMG and all its variations, but ZOMG just worked so perfectly for my Z post... I couldn't resist! Congrats on your awesome new CP... Sounds like you and Elodie are going to be a fabulous match! (Oh, and thank goodness A-Z is over... I'm exhausted!)

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  14. OMG, did u start yet? Yeah, I also hear you on the net slang. As a teacher, I see more and more of it being employed in writing. Kids think it is acceptable nowadays, thus my prediction of 6 years ago has come to pass, .e., the literal dumbing down of the international language thanks to cell phones and social media.

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  15. YAY! Congrats on making it to the end and for finding such an awesome CP! As soon as Elodie shared that you two were going to read for each other, I knew that would be a magical partnership. And I am CERTAIN that your story doesn't suck!

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