About Me

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Southern France
Lynn Deasy is a freelance writer, author, foodie, and garden tinkerer. She lives in a 600 year old house in southern France with her husband, Christophe. Currently, she is looking for a literary agent for her memoir CA VA? STORIES FROM RURAL LIFE IN SOUTHERN FRANCE which examines the oddities of French provincial living from an outsider’s point of view through a series of adventures that provide more than a fair share of frustration, education, admiration, and blisters…. yes, lots and lots of blisters. Lynn blogs every Monday, Wednesday, and sometimes Friday.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Importance of Finding the Right Cheerleader

I’ve written a lot about living in France.  I’ve even put those ideas together in a manuscript in hopes of getting it published one day.  So today I’m going to take the blog in a slightly different direction.  Instead of sharing my thoughts on how life has changed since moving here, I’m going to reflect upon the process of writing and one important aspect of it: finding the first right person to share it with.

Once I finished my initial manuscript, I found the most challenging thing to do was to find the right person to read it. (This is course was before I knew about the joys of querying to find a literary agent, but that’s another issue.) The writing process can be solitary; it can be used as an escape from a criticizing world.  My relationship with my computer is easy; it doesn’t judge what I’ve written.  It takes every word without a whimper or a laugh, but I write to share, so I need to find someone who’s going to give me feedback and ideas I can use to help me make it better.  The search for that person who will find the balance between critique and criticism can be difficult.  It’s not easy to find a trusted someone who won’t take your ideas and smash them to pieces against the wall, or someone who doesn’t think simple words like “good” or “like” is useful feedback.  This person needs to know the point of the book, the voice, the characters; he needs to know what you want to do and how you want to achieve that.  He needs to look at the drafts and see where ideas need to be flushed out or dampened down; he needs to know when you need a moral boast, when the dream needs to be stoked, or just perhaps when a beer is required to think things over.  Basically, he needs to simply get it.  He needs to be your cheerleader in full attire – pompoms, saddle shoes, and all.  He is the go to person who helps you get to where you want to go; the person who, in the worst case scenario, is standing on the sideline cheering you on in the pouring rain with seconds left on the clock while you hold the ball for the game willing play.  I find this person to be essential in the process of advancing, improving, and just feeling good about creating. This person could be the face sitting in front of you, but sometimes, he’s not easy to find, but he is a needed element in writing. I believe every writer needs to find this person.  It just makes the whole thing better, even easier, and definitely a happier, less solitary act.

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