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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tuesday Spotlight: Beth Caudill

I Think I Can…

With two kids, I find reading old favorites a good solution for their need to hear the same story over and over again. One such book is The Little Engine That Could retold by Watty Piper. I smile every time I read “I think I can. I think I can.”

I kept ‘I think I can’ as a mantra through half of college. At which point, three dimensional calculus kicked my behind. ‘I think I can’ became replaced by ‘Let me out of here.”

As I work on a novel-length manuscript, ‘I think I can’ has come back into my life. I use it to fight the dreaded doubt demon. This is the little guy that as you write, he whispers, “That sucks. Why are you doing this?” He can be quite persistent at times. You just have to persevere and ignore him. Particularly when you receive a rejection for one manuscript while working on its sequel.

Another thing you have to protect against is letting critiques and rejections influence the heart of your story. You have to remember that this is your story and weigh the comments from critique groups, partners, contest judges, and editors against your vision. Most comments will probably make your story better, but there may be a few you don’t agree with changing. Make sure you have taken time away and thought over the comments logically. If you still feel the change is wrong, don’t make it so long as you can give a detailed explanation (besides you don’t want to do it) of why the change is incorrect.

Remember, writing is a business and emotion needs to be left in the story and not your interactions with the people who are helping you. And no matter what, write that next story.

4 comments:

Lisa said...

Good advice but sometimes that doubt demon is SO hard to ignore! But I guess, ignore him we must, or else we would get nothing written.

Thanks :)

Beth Caudill said...

I want to find some gray fuzzy stuff animal thingy that I can have at my desk. That way when the doubt demon shows up, I can squeeze the daylights out of him.

I might not write more...but I'll feel better. ;)

Thanks for stopping by Lisa.

robynl said...

get thee gone, doubt demon; just ignore him and hopefully he'll go away, lol.

Beth Caudill said...

Robynl - I wish it was that easy.

I think there is a correlation between when the doubt demon shows up and the stress of the kids school. I think the more problems we have...the more he plagues me.