So before I hand something in, I tweak it, I tweak it, and I tweak it again.
The problem is that I'm making minor changes (generally). A comma, removing a preposition, using a different word. These are all good changes, but they don't really get to the heart of the problem in some of my writing. But that's kind of hard to do...finding your own weaknesses, you know?
So I started going to a writers' group. And at first I was super tentative. The crowd seemed old and didn't have a lot of writing background/experience...or talent. Not that they didn't have potential, but they weren't naturally strong writers. And most of them didn't go through extensive classes and all that sort of thing. I was glad for feedback, but I wasn't confident much of it would be useful.
And then some new people joined. They were younger and had experience and skill.
On Thursday we had another gathering and I feel like I got some really good feedback. I know the story that we're currently going through is some of my more stilted language, but it was still good to hear it. And they gave some positives too. And some places where it fell through. It just felt REALLY good. And I want more of that feedback.
I'd love to have a bunch of beta readers to give that sort of feedback, and I may have one or two, but even they haven't torn into my piece. (Um, not that I want my heart broken and bleeding on the floor. But, you know...)
But I also know I can't just rely on the beta reader. I have to strive to improve my own writing. And while putting out the stories is important, putting them out well is even more so.
Now I just need Hermione's time-turner in order to get everything done.