Last night was our CWC meeting. Fleur was "up the creek" for a full YA novel. Even though we all enjoyed it and LOVED the protagonist, there were suggestions all the way around. As there always are. That's what the group was created for--to make us all better.
What impressed me was not just how well the story already worked or the amazing ideas that flew around the table on how to make it even better. The really impressive thing was Fleur's reaction to all this input. "This is great!" she said with a huge smile. Either she needs to try out for Theatreworks or she really meant it. I think she was genuinely thrilled to have the opportunity to revise using (or not) the ideas we gave her.
And that's a good writer, my friends. I'm trying to get there. I realize that rewrites are necessary. I'm getting better at them. And at taking criticism. But I can't say that I ever feel so freakin' joyful after a critique session. Especially right after. Maybe a few days later when things start to sink in and balance out a little it doesn't sting quite so much. And that doesn't mean I want the others to take it any easier on me during critiques. That won't help me.
Hanging out with other writers is always a learning experience. I learn from their work, from their critiques of my work and of other people's (published and aspiring). And I realized last night that I have learned and am still learning from their reactions to feedback.
This IS great!