Jan 14, 2011

Friendly Friday - Gail Zuniga

Gail Zuniga - I am the youngest of nine kids, seven of those being girls. Yeah you can feel sorry for my mom, I do. In high school I was told I would never be a good writer. I took this to heart and decided to persue my next love, Art. I have a degree in Fine Arts with an emphasis in Metal Smithing. What this really means is that I get paid to melt gold and on occasion make something with it. My last year of college I decided to take a creative writing class. I was scared to death, but in that class the professor saw something in me and actually kept quiet a few of my stories to use as examples for the next semester. Since then I have had a love for writing and I'm finally doing something with it.

I have really been thinking a lot about honesty and telling people the truth. I bet you are wondering what this has to do with writing. Well I'll tell you. We, as writers, put our heart and soul into a manuscript and then put it out there for others to critique. We hold our breath and cross out fingers as they read it. Some come back and tell us we have a great story--they can't wait to read the rest. Others rip it apart. The ones I appreciate the most are the ones who rip my stuff apart. I know this sounds masochistic in a way. But really, how am I supposed to become a better writer if all I ever get told is my stuff is great? No I'm not saying you should start ripping apart everything you read. There is a nice way to tell someone their work needs fixing. I like to think of it this way. If my story comes back bleeding red then maybe there is something that I need to rethink. (By the way, to everyone in my critique group, I got rid of my prologue.) 
Anyway, as we begin to become more entrenched in our work and in critiquing others, lets all try to be honest and not just nice. In one of my writers groups I'm a part of, a conversation came up about being published. The comment was made that more people out of this particular writers group had been published then any other that they knew of. I really took this heart and I wonder if it's not because, one, we all support each other, but also that everyone is willing to say the truth.


  1. Honesty -- a very good trait to have, in life and in writing. The trick is being honest without making those you are honest with feel like the biggest loser. Excellent thoughts. Thanks!

  2. Honesty is so very important. I think it is the heart of good writing! (And we do have such an awesome group.)

  3. I totally agree. It doesn't help our writing at all when the people we trust to tell us if it stinks, don't. It's important to comment on what's working, but almost MORE important to point out what doesn't. Of course, we CAN be nice about it, too ;)

    Great post Gail.

  4. Thanks for being my guest today, Gail. It's been great getting to know you a little better.

  5. Thanks for the post and a chance to get to know Gail a little better. I'm excited to get to know her more as part of one of her new critique groups.