April 1, 2014

My Inner Critic and I…


Guest Blogger:  Linda M. Rowland-Buckley


I love to sit at my desk and watch words fall onto the page and into the mouths of my characters. The dialog between them grows and their conversations expand until I have a complete story.

Then the questions arrive:  What do I do with the families I create …the people on the page that I fall in love with?  How do I share these characters with the world? 

I want to give my characters the life they deserve, but the inner critic I have fought so long, the one full of fear who says, just revise that paragraph one more time — balks.  He says: the structure is off; you are making your reader work too hard to learn about your narrator.  Some days I believe him. Some days I believe the narrator’s emotional texture is inauthentic. This leads me to wonder if I will ever publish my novel.

My inner critic does not like the business of publishing, either. The large conferences, three-minute pitches, and dismissive agents bring out my vulnerability. Rejection is a painful process. That lurch in the stomach as I recover from the disappointment of reading “after careful review, we’ve decided not to include your work in our anthology”: time heals the initial wound, but a dull ache persists.

Still, my characters have a right to meet the readership that hopefully awaits them. This means learning the landscape of the publishing market.  Some aspects of the business help make it more approachable. Friends share publishing news about journals accepting submissions, via social media such as FaceBook. The decision to face down my fear and cast a wider net lands me a publication.  My first flash fiction appears in BG Blues and Music News, an online magazine.

Another way to make submitting and marketing more approachable is to attend the upcoming craft presentation by Straw Dog Writers Guild. My inner critic and I plan to be there; I hope you will join us – with or without your inner critic…!


Editor’s note – Join us for:

“The Top Ten Reasons to Publish in Literary Magazines and How to do It”  

with Writer and Editor Hunter Ligoure

Saturday April 5, 2014   10:30 a.m.- 12 p.m

Lilly Library, Florence, MA.

Ligoure – editor-in-chief of the print journal ‘American Athenaeum’, and teacher of historic fiction writing at Lesley University’s MFA program – will discuss:  ways to identify markets that are best suited for your work; what editors are looking for; how to avoid common mistakes when submitting; and ways to construct a good biography, even without publishing credits. 


Linda Rowland-BuckleyLinda M. Rowland-Buckley has published five pieces of fiction on the BG Blues and Music News website.  She lives with her family in South Hadley, MA and is working on revising her first novel.



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