Call me a scientist. I have recently embarked on two experiments: Book Roast's March 17th 'Luck' Pitch Party and the Public Query Slushpile, which I have commented on before here. I submitted a 68-word pitch on one of my picture book manuscripts to Book Roast's Pitch Party and its corresponding full-length query on the Public Query Slushpile. I received positive feedback and constructive criticism at both locations. Commentators forced me to address several issues related to my manuscript. The process was not easy, as we all want to believe our work is flawless, but it was empowering at the same time. I had to contemplate my reasonings for certain aspects of my writing with as much of an objective eye as I could muster. While I did not place in the Pitch Party, I consider both experiments to be great successes, as they provided ongoing dialogues that will only strengthen my manuscript.
Miss Snark's First Victim recently posted on the rules of listening to critiques, which includes these sage words: 'Never love your manuscript more than you appreciate your critters.'
Editorial Anonymous also expounded on this issue at her Anonymati site: 'It is not the willingness and ability to write well that separates the amateurs and hobbyists from Real Writers. It is the willingness and ability to rewrite well that makes you Real Writers.'
These experiments have been two more examples of the power of networking with other authors.