Tuesday, June 16, 2009


So where have I been lately? Certainly not blogging as much as I'd like and certainly not keeping up my word counts the way I had planned.

I'll come right out with it...I've been addicted to the Authonomy website. A few months ago I had posted part of my first novel there hoping for friendly camaraderie with other writers and helpful critiques for yet another edit. Of course there was the coveted Harper Collins Editor's Desk looming on the horizon for the top 5 peer ranked books each month, but that's not what I was gunning for...at least not at the beginning. So I delved in with enthusiasm, reading other novice manuscripts and I began receiving confidence boosting praise and helpful nit-picks for my own revision. The tips and advice were right on and my work was improving.

Life was good.

But then a wonderful-awful thing happened. My work began to climb...and quickly. Suddenly the ED was not looming in the distance but edging at the end of a sprint line. So what was the awful part? The fact that authonomy has been consuming my entire life! Reading and commenting, returning swaps, digesting the crits and editing...yikes! It makes me wonder who has been feeding and bathing the kids this past month!

So today, I'm frustrated and rebelling...I'm not looking. Nope. Not looking. (Okay, well I looked once but I'm not reading...) I'm going to the beach. I'm taking a mental health day because I've decided we writerly types weren't cut out for such cut throat races and competition. We're a leisurely, friendly bunch...a group needing the inspiration of nature and the companionship of PEOPLE to help our work thrive and flourish.

After my initial thoughts on the brilliance of such a website dedicated to the mutual critique of aspiring writers in which the best will pull forward and garner deserved attention, I now wonder if it doesn't create unnecessary competition and dastardly nit picks. I write literary fiction so I'm frustrated by the writers of chick lit advising that my sentences are too long or that there isn't enough dialogue. I'm tired of writer's of science fiction telling me that my work didn't catch their imagination. I've decided that mass reading and critquing may not be the answer I'm looking for.

After all, isn't writing an art? Isn't there room on the Barnes and Nobles book shelf for all our books?


  1. I have not heard of that website. I know I'm grateful for the four women who critique my work. Enjoy the beach!
    ~ Wendy

  2. Poor Johanna,

    This site is a waste of time - really! You're already seeing that.

    I was there for about 8 weeks and then - huge sigh of relief - got out.

    Get back to the real writing and keep away from so-called writer-help sites like this. In fact, Google about it and see what others have found.

  3. Thanks for the feedback, Fran. It's so tempting, isn't it? But I realize that my attentions have been somewhat diverted...

    I think I need to find a group like Wendy has...a true critique group.

    And YES..I did enjoy the beach!

  4. I had checked out that site, and well it's great... provided that it's the only thing in your life you do. And don't mind nit picks.

    Fran is so rite about this site.

    Great to see you back!

    PS, I've got the long awaited contest up. It was you who gave the the thought so thanks.

  5. Enjoyed your post and now I'm scared to even look at Authonomy. I just joined a "live" critique group with some published authors and other who write articles for a living. What a difference that has made. I was on a waiting list for 7 months and they finally voted me in.
    Have you been to any writers' conferences? They are helpful, especially when you have a large group and intructors to critique.