Seeing the blind spots: writing buddies

Last night we had another great session in our children’s writers group here in Edinburgh. We all feel we get so much from each other’s feedback. I was reading out a new picture book manuscript, ‘Shimmery Wish!’, and the group suggested a couple of tweaks that felt right to me and have really made a difference to the story. A tiny but gorgeous difference, actually.

Even the Faber novelist Marcel Theroux says that he still needs people (his agent / other author friends / his editor wife) to point out things he sometimes completely misses. It happens to everyone. (Marcel was a brilliant, empowering tutor on a recent F&F short story writing course.)

The same principle applies to why I firmly believe young copywriters should give themselves time in an agency rather than launching their own careers on the net – the ‘robust’ feedback you get from other creatives is absolutely vital to help you grow. Because we don’t know what we don’t know. [Soap box removed].

A lateral link here, but it was quite interesting this morning that in my inbox was a daily meditative email from Richard Rohr talking today about our unconscious addictive thought patterns etc, “Substance addictions are merely the most visible form of addiction, but actually we are all addicted to our own habitual way of doing anything, our own defenses, and most especially our patterned way of thinking, or how we process our reality. By definition you can never see or handle what you are addicted to. It is always “hidden” and disguised as something else. What is its name? You cannot heal what you do not first acknowledge.” I wonder if it’s the same principle at work.

We all need each other, in writing and in life, to help us see and call out those parts of us that are not-yet-fully-formed. To buddy and champion one another to grow into our best and truest selves.






By Liz Holt