Thursday, 26 February 2009

Getting Opinions

I don't know if any of you have been following Trish Wylie's free online workshop (link on left hand side of her blog) - The 38 Most Common Romance Writing Mistakes - but I've been finding it extremely useful. Lesson 30 is all about other people's opinions of your writing and when it's helpful and when it's not.
I can see it getting confusing if people give conflicting feedback but personally speaking I've only had positive experiences of getting advice from people (and I'm not just saying that because my lovely CPs read my blog, honest ;-)
I always miss things when reading my own work, definitely a wood and trees thing, and it works really well when you have two people saying 'But you haven't explained about...' Also if you're in a bit of a slump a CP wielding a stick (or scraping you off of the ground if needed) is invaluable.
Anyway, I went to my PIL's doctor this morning to get a second opinion (about the head injury, not the ms ;-) hoping it would be widely different from the first one. It didn't start well when she said 'I don't know anything about concussive syndrome, I'll have to look it up'.
I was hoping she'd say 'Oh yes, I have tons of experience in this field and you're going to be better a week next Tuesday' instead I got the same answer I got at the hospital 'Could be months, could be years!' and a vague 'I'm sure your eye's not damaged, it's just part of the concussive thing and will get better sometime.' She did give me some more drugs though.
Aargh. Patience is not my strong point. I'm frustrated beyond belief that I can't sit down and write for hours or if I do use 'good eye time' on the computer I then can't read anything. I'm trying to adapt - blogs are good as can be done in ten minute bursts, I've written some letters and fillers for magazines for the same reason and lastly it means I'm thinking more about my new stories before I write them (probably a good thing).
Any lessons to learn? Don't ask for someone's opinion unless you really want to hear the answer (Oh, and wear a hard hat at all times ;-)


Suzanne said...

Oh, Lorraine, you poor thing. If they gave you a definite time frame it would be bearable, but it's so hard when you just don't know...

Have you thought about voice recognition software? I remember reading a while back about someone who was suffering (I think) rsi and couldn't type - she said the software had come a long way recently (and it would at least mean you weren't using 'good eye time' while you were writing).

Will keep fingers crossed for your letters and fillers.

Lorraine said...

Thanks Suzanne,

I hadn't thought about voice recognition software. If the problem persists I'll definitely look into it. Wouldn't work for bookkeeping unfortunately.

Thanks for all the advice you've passed on about fillers. I shall be loitering in newsagents too and keeping a look out for a Suzanne original :-)

Lucy King said...

What a nightmare! Sooo frustrating for you...

Thanks for the workshop tip - will head there now. Don't have a cp, but I sometimes give things like a synopsis (or bits of the ms) to my husband to read. Strangely he's not a romance reader ;). But he is logical and methodical, so when he says he doesn't see why x does y, he usually has a point (irritatingly enough).

Jackie Ashenden said...

Argh, Lorraine! Bl**dy quacks. Fat lot of good aren't they? Perhaps you could get a specialist to look? Strong drugs are good though. Think positive - months instead of years.

Better go take a look at Trish Wylie's site.

Joanne Cleary said...

Oh bless you. Rubbish advice I've got, you probably feel more frustrated now than before you went :-(

I love Trish Wylie's site, need to catch up there now the course I've been doing is all but finished.

Lorraine said...

Lucy - it's always irritating when other people are right :-)

There are so many blogs/internet distractions around but I've found Trish's course incredibly useful and the bite size chunks make it manageable. Plus she always answers your questions which is very generous of her.

Don't worry Jackie, a bit of Highland air in my lungs will perk me up :-)

Jo, not rubbish advice! :-) I had to go anyway to get some more painkillers and once I get home I'll go to my local GP too. On the positive side if they don't know anything about it it could get better tomorrow...