Inspired (read: prodded) by Shannon Whitney Messenger's post about fear, I'm going to tell you one thing I'm afraid of:
I know what you're thinking: I'm afraid of hearing that my story isn't that good, or that it needs a lot more work. That I'm afraid of criticism. And while prepping myself to hear these things takes a HUGE grittingoftheteeth/deepbreath/mightthrowup-ness, it's actually something else.
This is my third draft, and I'm planning on it being my final draft. I had planned on just running full throttle with it without a critique partner because I didn't have one. However, one post by Agent Mary from kidlit.com changed everything. The July Critique Connection. (Which is amazing and you should check it out;it's basically an opportunity to find critique partners of your genre.)
There I was. Finally with an opportunity to find a critique partner. Fleeting fancies of those friendships all the other blogger people talk about. And realizing, if I get a critique partner, she's going to find a gazillion things in my MS that I need to fix.
And this will not be my final draft.
I'm a very patient person. I really am. And while I had a few pity parties about my lack of critique partners, I kind of shrugged it off like, "Well, God hasn't brought the right critique partner into my life yet. Darn. Guess I won't have to revise the stupid thing yet again!" (Patient? Or in denial?)
As you may have guessed, I haven't written anyone yet (though there are some people I'm very interested in contacting). I'm just...yeah, scared. Scared of the new stage of writing I'll be entering when I find a critique partner. Scared that I'll do a lousy job, because I've never critiqued anyone seriously (though I am a real stickler for grammer, a trait never seen on my blog because, well, if I proofread this thing every day, you'd never get a post). Scared that I won't be able to help them. Scared that I'll be told my book needs a lot of work. A lot of work, when I was planning on querying in the fall.
Here I am, being honest about what I fear. By the time you read this, I may have psyched myself up enough to email a couple of people. Maybe.
Not sure that I have any questions for you. Encouragement and motivation is welcome. :) But do you have a critique partner? Has having one altered your writing schedule - as in, when it's finished? Is the delay worth it?
Because I don't know if I can handle more delay...