Tuesday, May 10

Just trust me!

This is my friend Pam. She doesn't ride a lot, but she loves horses. So last fall, I asked her to ride with me on the Grand Mesa, a beautiful place I love to go to. I chose Anastasia, a former dude horse, one I knew to be trustworthy, safe, for Pam.

We loaded up our lunches and set out. We wound through trees, crossed a couple of creeks, and went over downed timber and through meadows. All normal stuff for me. When we stopped for lunch, Pam mentioned that she hadn't expected to ride like that. But she trusted me...and the mare to keep her safe.


A big word.

Writing, especially critiquing, comes to mind when I think of trust.

It takes a lot of trust to turn your beloved baby, your manuscript, over to anyone to read, pick apart. You have to know that the person(s) are ones you can trust to have your book's best interest at heart.

Unfortunately, it's not always that way. Sometimes, you can find a critter who wants to school you. Take you to the whipping post. All for their own ego.

But this isn't about those critters. This is about the kind who you can send your manuscript, and know that they're going to make it better. The kind you know that when your pages have strikethroughs and lotsa red, it's a good thing. The kind you can trust.

Your agent. You have to be able to trust him/her to know when/how to send out your book. To let go of the control. To believe that person has the best possible plan for your books.

I haven't gotten there yet, but I know you have to trust your editor to make the best choices for your book, not only in copyediting, but also covers, placement, etc, etc.

No matter what stage you're at, in writing, as in riding, trust is paramount.

Are you lucky enough to have trust in your writing life?


  1. Trust, such a simple word, but it is a hard thing to do. I'm not a very trusting person. Not sure why. I've never really had anyone in my life screw me over--maybe in a passed life, lol? But I have had my trust tested when it has come to writing and critting. When I first started receiving crits on my MS it was very overwhelming--everyone had different issues with my work. I was confused and didn't know whose advice to listen to. Then something wonderful happened. I learned how to trust myself--trust my own instincts when it came to my writing, my story, and my characters. But I have to say that through crits I have learned so much. I now have a small group of critters who I trust with not only my MS, but my sanity, hehehehe.

  2. I've only had one ms critiqued by fellow writers, but I trusted them to help me in areas I'm weak in. Since they were not editors, I could take or leave their comments. Most of them I took and I must say I learned a lot along the way. If it had been an editor I would trustingly place it in their hands as most are not out to get you.
    I'm working on another novel now. Anyone care to critique?

  3. Great topic. It's such a fine line, particularly for new writers... you don't want to ignore advice from your CP's, but sometimes what they suggest just doesn't feel right. And sometimes you get conflicting advice. So then you really have to trust yourself and your story.

    Hopefully by the time you get to an editor, you've got those "chops" necessary to recognize good advice from an expert, and also hold onto the integrity of your own writing if that advice isn't spot-on.

  4. It is a great topic, and a great post. I'm pretty trusting, which can be bad in its own way because I tend to take every criticism as though it's gospel and not just another person's perception. I haven't run into anyone I thought was out to get me, but subjective is a word I repeat to myself every day.

  5. Trust is a great topic.

    Trust is imperative to success. You have to trust your group not only to have the best interest for your manuscript, but also yourself since you're promoting a package...your work, your unique brand and your publisher.

    Laying yourself bare is never easy esp when you're expecting honest critique. You need faith in your abilities and in your peers who not only know what is on paper but know how you think and what you're trying to convey so that they can help cement the manu to near perfection.

    I don't have an agent but I do work for seven different publishers, I can tell you that the adivce I get from them is on the up and up pretty much level. That also helps cement learning and training I recieve and look for to improve my writing and interpersonal skills.

  6. Great post! Yep--trust is def needed in this line of work :)
    I am so thankful that I do have a circle of cps whom I trust.

  7. Trust is important. First and foremost we have to learn to trust our own judgment. As a writer, I also put my trust in my editors. They are a second set of eyes and opinions. They improve the quality of my work.

    Jacqueline Seewald
    THE TRUTH SLEUTH--coming May 18th from Five Star/Gale--check it out on Amazon or Barnes and Noble online

  8. Hi D'Ann~ When I first started out, I trusted that everyone knew more than me. I quickly realized, I knew more than I thought.

    I also trusted that others would encourage me on. Huge awakening when I received my first few crits.

    There are some, like you said, who like the stroke of their own pen, wreaking havoc across the pages. More than typed destruction ensues, believe me.

    It's easy to give a mean crit. Much harder to crit and come across in a positive attitude.

    Trust. It's easy to lose. I give thanks every day for my circle of CP's, the ones I trust.

  9. Great post. It takes trust to put work out there for critique. I haven't really had any bad experiencs, though some crits have been tough to read. But I don't feel like the issues pointed out were a personal attack. The main factor I've had to remember is everyone has different opinions, leading to different areas being stressed in a critique or even contradictory comments. That's where I've had to learn to trust myself.

  10. I'm lucky to have had a helpful and fair critique group and a long time critique partner I trust implicitly.

  11. I've always been a trustng soul, always thought others had my back. Though I know that's not always true, it is now with a good group of crit partners. I ask advice from them about writing and non-writing issues sometimes, because I've grown to trust their judgement in all areas of life. It really feels good to not be all alone anymore.

    Great post, D'Ann!

  12. Fantastic post, D'Ann... Yes, trusting your CPs is a must. But you must trust yourself too. I've just gotten to this place. From the get-go I've been extremely trusting of what others had to say about my writing. I'm a relative newbie (only pursuing publication for 3 years now). So, surely, someone who's published HAS to know more than me. A few bad critters and I realized that's not the case. I ended up with not my ego, but my confidence wrecked because of it.

    Now, I have a few VERY trusted CPs who are like-minded and have become not only good friends, but my biggest support system in this crazy business.

  13. Great post D'Ann. When it comes to critiques, I haven't had a bad experience and can usually take something from every critique I have received. Everyone I've come in contact with wants to add value. Maybe I don't always agree but those are the ones that have made me a better writer. Generally I have a thick skin and don't take too much personally. But I have been pretty blessed with some amazing critique partners.

  14. Thanks, everyone, for coming by tonight. I'm frankly amazed so many of you have had such good expereinces. I haven't, always.
    But the CPS I have now, I trust to death.

  15. Since everyone else touched on trust of your CP's, I think you also have to trust yourself and your instincts.And maybe that's the key to finding good critique partners who won't let you down.

  16. I trust all my cp's. I know none of them would tell me something they didn't honestly think would help. there's a lot of talent out there, I'm glad there are writers willing to share what they know.

  17. I'm lucky to have a core group of people around me that I trust with my work, to kick my butt in gear and cry with when I'm down. Wouldn't trade them in for anything!