M. K. Theodoratus, Fantasy Writer, blogs about the books she reads--mostly fantasy and mystery authors whose books catch her eye and keep her interest. Nothing so formal as a book review, just chats about what she liked. Theodoratus also mutters about her own writing progress or ... lack of it.

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Thursday, May 8, 2014

My Worst Writing Fear -- Lori Lucero



How I Cope with The Fear of  Revealing Myself in My Writing 

by

Lori Lucero

My greatest writing fear is confronting my own vulnerability. It’s scary to put yourself out there through your writing. So scary that if I contemplate it too much I want to curl up into a fetal position. If you’re doing it right, you’re putting your innermost self into your work, even if it’s under the guise of fiction. The inevitable rejection seems very personal. As it is, I have a hard time accepting criticism gracefully for things that matter far less to me than my writing. I worry that this fear of criticism/rejection will stop me from digging deep into my own emotions when I write. That I’ll only be able to skim the surface of my thoughts and feelings so that criticism and rejection will hurt less. 

My writing will suffer as a result.


I remember my first writing critique group meeting. It was a fairly large group of around ten people. I would describe the group as being supportive in general, but everyone was very honest. At that first meeting, I listened, wide-eyed, to people taking a sledgehammer to each other’s work. I knew it was all to help the others improve their writing, which I do think everyone was genuinely trying to do. 

Still, I felt emotionally scarred by proxy. I broke out into a cold sweat at the thought of sharing my work. The group leader suggested that for the first critique of my own writing, I should share something I wasn’t as emotionally attached to. However, I didn’t want to share my grocery list, my only option as far as emotional detachment, so I gave everyone a chapter of my novel to critique. And—I survived. The criticism didn’t kill me on the spot, or even make me burst into tears (a much more mundane and likely scenario). And I do think the feedback helped me improve my writing.


This leads me to how I attempt to work through this fear. To cope, sometimes you just have to plow through. You have to make yourself do scary things. 


Plowing through isn’t my only coping strategy, though. I have recently taken up meditation, which helps me cope with stress in general. 

My other coping mechanism is rather perverse. I go on Amazon and read one-star reviews of authors and books I love. I don’t normally engage in schadenfreude, and it isn’t that I enjoy seeing other people’s work getting torn down. So why do I do it? For reassurance, I guess. It helps me realize that no matter how awesome you are, someone, somewhere, will think you suck. Somehow, this twisted little task makes criticism in general seem less potent, like just background noise with which everyone has to cope.

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Parallel Lives Blurb

If Jen can't get back to her usual self, she'll have to do everything all over again. Jen is thirty-seven-year-old middle-school teacher in 2012. Overweight, underpaid, in debt, and with a bitter divorce pending, Jen wants to start over. 
Then Jen is hit by a car. When she awakens, it is still 2012, but she is a thirteen-year-old, with her same parents and siblings. Initially Jen resists accepting her new reality. However, faced with the threat of confinement to a mental health ward, she is forced to play along. 

Jen struggles to understand her situation. She jumps on every possible source of information, finally stumbling upon theoretical physics discussions regarding parallel universes. A quantum physics professor says he can send her "home", leaving her with a decision. Should she stay, relive adolescence, and possibly make better life choices? Or should she return to her flawed but familiar life?

Buy Link on Amazon


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Lori Lucero Author Bio:

Lori Lucero, a school psychologist, has been honing her writing craft for many years. She has a master’s degree in psychology as well as an Education Specialist degree (Ed.S.). She has published articles for various online venues and is a member of the Pacific Northwest Writers' Association. Her first book, Parallel Lives, a light science-fiction novel, is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble.com, and Smashwords. Originally from Montana, she now lives in Auburn, WA, with her very spoiled cat.

Follow her on Twitter and Quora.




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