Sunday, 27 September 2009

Of Smuggness

Dear Reader, I am feeling very Smugg. So Smugg that a small 's' and one 'g' cannot convey the level of my Smuggitude.

The reasons for this are twofold. First, I have just had an utterly lovely holiday in unspoiled north-west Sardinia: snorkelling with sardines in clear warm sea (beats dolphins - more appetising), eating pizzas the size of cartwheels, reading book after book after book, gawping open-mouthed at stunning sunsets and frescoes, chatting happily with my travelling companion, and writing rather a lot of words too (5000 new ones plus 2500 lifted from a previous draft and edited).

Second, during my holiday I got the third report from my lovely mentor Debi. She had quite a lot to say, and was a bit worried that I might develop homicidal tendencies as a result, and dismiss her as an evil hatchet woman. Although I regularly seek and use feedback on my writing, it is true that my first reaction to receiving feedback is often to feel defensive, upset, and cross. I usually get past that fairly quickly without the need to inflict it on the giver of feedback. But this time there wasn't a shred of anything other than illumination and gratitude. I'm hoping to apply the lessons learned to the current 'chunk', and to have that ready to send to Debi sometime this week. Paid work is in rather short supply just now, but the upside of that is more time for writing, so I intend to make as much use of it as I can.

I will of course be popping round to visit you all in the next couple of days. Holiday snaps to follow.


JJ Beattie said...

Oh it is gorgeous to see you back.

I feel utterly the same about the feedback: a bit of defensive, a bit sad blah blah. I think that's normal. I really didn't want to spend money to have someone say 'it's wonderful' and yet each time I wanted her to come back and say just that. It never lasts long and I always realise that she's right!

Nice to see you glowing after your hols.

Tam said...

Welcome back :-)

Criticism is hard to take but oh so helpful if you can bear it and it sounds like you can.

Nice to be quiet on the work front - glad you're planning to make good use of the time.

Beleaguered Squirrel said...

Cor blimey missus, how wonderful.

V jealous of your holiday, too! Don't think I've ever had one like that, and might be a while yet before I do, too. Maybe when I'm retired...

But never mind me. Well done you for doing so well with the book and for deserving to have such a lovely time.

Carol said...

Yay your back!!

It sounds like your holiday was absolutely wonderful...I can't wait to see the photos!!

Criticism, even constructive, is difficult to deal with but your's invaluable and without it you lose the chance to improve!!

C x

SpiralSkies said...

Can't wait to see the photos. And lovely that you can dissolve your crossness - I'm sure not everyone can do that. Our own words are so precious!

Debs said...

Glad to hear you had such a fab holiday and that you had such an illuminating report back from your mentor.

Word verification: retype!

Queenie said...

Thanks, everyone.
I'm glad it's not just me, where the criticism is concerned.
Debs, how funny!

Pat said...

I seem to have lost a few days somewhere. Glad you're back

Debi said...

I feel a surprising frisson of something like disappointment that I'm not an evil hatchet woman after all.

Note to self: must try harder ...