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I asked my writing group yesterday for feedback on my blogs and my instructor told me my writing was flat and that she couldn't get through the blog.

This is where I will try to resist the urge (unsuccessfully, as you will see) to snap back with, "But I'm not  flat!  There's only one store in town that sells bras that fit me!" because accepting this feedback makes me wonder if any of this is worth it.  If my writing is flat, then is anyone getting anything out of this?

I know the answer.  Writing about mid-life changes, the difficulties I have with it, the joys and struggles, all of this is  worth it.  I'm going through this and the only way I know how to keep plugging away at it is to write it down.  I know and hear of so many women asking these same questions.  

I think it's harder for women to say we're also going through mid-life crises.  We talk about the "natural" mid-life change.  Menopause.  But, that's a physiological change all women go through in our mid-life stage and aside from that, there's still a large population going through a different type of change.  We are now starting to ask what's in it for us?  How do I start over?  What am I meant to do?  How do I reinvent myself?

Making major changes in my life–quitting a job and giving up a steady income, moving, deciding what I want to do next, deciding how to do what I want to do next–all these entail fear and excitement and drama and possibilities.

So, if this is flat, then so be it. I would gladly invite you over to my house and sit you all in my cluttered living room and read these blogs to you so you can hear tone and intonation and see how animated I get when I do read this out loud to my writing group, but that's not a realistic option at the moment (and you have no idea  how much it pains me to say that).  Once Oprah finds me I'll be able to reach a larger audience but for now, this is all I can offer.

Until then, just imagine me sitting in front of you reading this out loud, a wicked grin on my face at times–a look of horror other times, believing this can be done.


Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cindy Stewart Penkoff wrote Nov 20, 2008
    • Your writing is not flat.  Is it the great american novel, no, but that is not what you are trying to accomplish.  If it makes you feel better than go for it.  If you want to express it in a more animated way, try reading it our loud in your cluttered living room, and taping it.  Throw it on youtube and see what becomes of it.

      I understand all to well what you are talking about whne you say, the other changes.  I catch myself everyday trying to figure out what zi want to be, NOW.  I’m not Cindy 20 something, the musician.  I’m not Cindy 30 something, getting married and trying to start a family.  I am now Cindy 40 something, an have no idea who that person is going to turn out to be.

      It’s a journey, possibly a gift(?), definately frustrating, but, where I am right at this minute.  I just need to figure out where that is.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Feathermaye wrote Nov 20, 2008
    • Hi, stellababette!

      As you’ll probably discover the more you read of other’s blogs and conversations here, truly enjoying someone’s blog is subjective.

      We all have different goals in our writings, whether just to socialize, to spread a message, or to actually entertain. Some are perhaps lucky enough (or talented enough?) to manage ALL of that and more.

      You have to decide first what your goal is in blogging. If you are simply needing to exercise some demons of your own, then you don’t need anyone else’s feedback or input. It’s all about what you want out of your writing.

      If you‘re looking to garner a following, then you have to be a bit more willing to take the constructive criticism offered and work with it.  

      Perhaps you could ask your instructor for tips on blowing a little life into your blogs, and see what she has to say. If she has some solid advice with good examples, then I wouldn’t take the criticism personally.  

      There are also innumerable resources all of the internet, in books and podcasts, that can help you refine your skills.

      By the way, I found you post here to be very enjoyable, and I was motivated to engage you in discussion about it. Hope that helps to put it in a little perspective for you!

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Carol Smith wrote Nov 20, 2008
    • Resident Fabulously40 lurker here (but I'm starting to come out of my shell a little more) - I love reading what everyone writes. It never sounds flat - my take is that we're all here to connect with each other and share life's experiences.  If our writing skills improve in the process...great!!

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Suzann wrote Nov 20, 2008
    • Stella, your writing to me is wonderful - I had no sense of any “flatness.” Remember, too, that comments from others on something as personal and creative as writing have to be taken with a great deal of discernment. When you send manuscripts to potential publishers or agents, often they will come back with some sort of criticism or rejection. It’s often a reflection of the reader and where she is at the time, rather than you or your writing.  

      My writing group can be very harsh, too. What I do is if a bunch of people make the same point about my work, then I pay attention. If just one person says something, and it doesn’t ring true to me, I’ll usually disregard it. I don’t know if that’s the best thing to do, but it keeps me sane!!!

      Go for it, sweetie. I, for one, love what you have to say.

      [Link Removed]

      Suzann, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Stellababette wrote Nov 20, 2008
    • I found this web site on a Facebook link.  I got onto Facebook because friends were bugging me.  Two seemingly innocent moves on my part has put me in touch with all of you and for that, I am so incredibly grateful.  Thank you so much.

      Much love,


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