Sunday, October 13, 2013

My Daughter is Fierce!

Atheist parenting secular parenting humanist mothers and daughters, difficult teens, writing criticism
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Writing fiction, journals, or non fiction is one thing...putting it online for others to read is quite another thing.  A writer agonizes over plot and wording, develops characters that become real to them, puts so much of their heart and mind and spirit into their writing, and then puts it out there for others to read, know, even judge.  It takes courage and tremendous ego strength to take a piece of writing and push the post button.

My daughter Elizabeth is more than a writer, she is an author.  She has been writing for many, many years and I have been impressed with her writing ability.  Perfect? No.  Skillful and developing?  Yes.

She has been writing fanfic for sometime now.  Her stories about her favorite fictional characters and real life celebrities have been circulating the fanfic boards for three years now.  She has followers, fans, and fellow enthusiasts on her fanfic community who beg her for more and more!

But the other day she got two comments that weren't just negative, they were attacking.  The night she read the comments I saw her shut off her computer, bow her head, and walk upstairs quietly.  Despite encouragement and support, she wouldn't tell me what was up until the next morning when she suddenly stopped what she was doing and asked me, Mom, is my grammar bad?  Is my punctuation a train wreck?  Is my writing weak?

In her despair and aloneness the other night she went upstairs to her room and removed a favorite and very popular story from the fanfic site.

Once the shock and sadness and insecurities went away, and after a good deal of processing together, Elizabeth started asking Who are these two people?  Why should I care what they think of my writing?  Do they KNOW how many people love my stories?!!  Hang on!  These people are wrong!  I am learning and writing my best right now.  Nothing they wrote is helpful at all!  I'm ignoring them, Mom.  I'll repost my story when I get my strength up a bit. 

And she will one day.

The process that this girl went through getting to her strong and confident place was amazing to behold.  Today:  back online writing!

Go Elizabeth!

Welcome readers in Singapore and China!

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  1. Wow, way to go! That is one of the hardest things to deal with. I had a stalker for a little while on a blog I wrote. The minute I started to ignore him (or her) he/she stopped following me and leaving nasty comments on all of my writing. It's hard, though. Really, really hard. Sometimes I still get comments from editors that make me think, "This is why so many writers drink so much!" Fierce is the exact word I'd use for your daughter. That takes strength and a whole lotta gumption that most writers take years to develop. I don't care what your grammar looks like, kiddo, you're way ahead of the game already.

  2. By the way, what kind of fanfiction does Elizabeth write? I used to write a lot of Harry Potter and CSI stories at ;)

    1. Sara, this is Liz:
      THANK YOU so much from by your comment. It really means a lot to hear from someone who has been through the same thing.
      I haven't put the story back up yet, but I'm working toward it. I'm still sort of shaking from it even though it's been a few weeks. The criticism I received was rudely put but I'm still editing the story to respond to the criticism in a subtle way. They had a point.
      But it was rude in how they said it.

      I am writing about the best friend of one of my favorite singers. This best friend doesn't actually exist, but I wrote her in anyway because it is fun. (The critic claimed to be his real best friend. But I'm not sure what to think about that!)

      I have a story about Sherlock Holmes from the new BBC series with another detective that he verbally spars with...I'm editing that one too. As a writer does. Do you EVER stop editing?

      I also have one about an anime', also with an OC. It's almost finished but I haven't been able to finish it yet.

      Thank you again for your comments and your interest!
      Hope to hear from you again,
      Your fellow writer,

  3. Hi Liz!

    Do you ever stop editing... Haha, good question! Yes, and some of it even becomes less important over the years. I used to be a "grammar Nazi" and now I find myself making mistakes more often than not. I use too many exclamation marks, smiley faces and clunky phrases... Meh, life is short. If you are understandable and you've got a good story to tell, I think that's what matters. ;)

    The Internet is full of people who don't seem like they have any ethics who are sometimes downright mean. I think it's because they can. The Internet takes away the face-to-face contact and subsequent empathy that people feel--the human connection--and it's so easy for people to dust crap on your hard work. I try not to take things personally, and maybe think about how sad it is that such a person has nothing else to do. It's very hard to do, but it helps me.

    Also, I used to work as the editor and producer of a nonprofit website where some of the users were snarky enough to actually chase away new users, costing us money and, perhaps, contributing to our closing. It was very sad, but in our market research we found that out of every comment you receive, you have dozens who do not comment but are reading--and I wish I could remember the figure, but it was massive. So think about how all of those other readers are enjoying your work. It sucks that they don't comment as much, but it's the Internet; folks are unfortunately more likely to leave a message when they are disgruntled than when they like something. If is the same as it was when I started writing FF, it's also not the most user-friendly place to leave comments, either. I had some nasty comments there, too, but they were mostly disagreements with my perspective. I have doubts that your critic is his real best friend, too, but you never know... I know the writers of "Supernatural," one of my shows, sometimes lurk in the fan message boards and use material they find. Fanfiction? You never know!

    I've never watched Sherlock but everyone says that I should. I will have to check it out sometime, and when I do you'll have to share your story link with me. Keep writing and don't let anyone discourage you. Your determination is inspiring and, I hope, contagious! :)


  4. Roar! And you rock. Keep your passions flowing and tell the *commenters* to get a life. I have a theory that hateful comments stem from jealousy and self guilt that they have not accomplished what you have.
    You are the most critical of your work, I know because we all (writers) are! It just hurts when vileness is expressed from a source you have never met. How DARE they! They don't know.... Well, live learn and write until you bleed. Heal and write some more. You are strong and on an awesome path!
    Remember you have already done more than most ever will. :)


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