There's that whole 'nothing to lose' kinda attitude you can throw around a lot. Particularly, it is easy to throw at other people--but pushing yourself that way, for that reason, can be harder. This weekend I had two interesting writing adventures.
The first, the White Night/Emerging Writers Fest/Lifted Brow project Red Eye, which has now been published and you can read. This was a success, and I was well-edited and I learned some things.
The second, the C1 Creative Blitz. This was not a success. Or, it was, but in an unconventional way. See, I submitted here the first chapter of my first novel Heart is Hard to Find, because it was the only YA novel I had lying around, and I had 'nothing to lose'. And I didn't. But the panel (a live group of teens chatting about my work) slammed the novel altogether. But they did it for the exact reasons I would slam my own work, and the exact reasons I went into this whole competition somewhat detached.
My thick skin is growing. That's what I learned from both of these opportunities. With Vinyl, I accepted 99% of edits, and if I didn't accept them, I did at least alter the parts that had been marked. With my first chapter from Heart is Hard to Find, I sat and I nodded. I accepted and agreed and I know truly now that there is nothing to be done to save that novel without it being completely rewritten. And that isn't worth my energy. Because I've got a half-dozen short stories to work on that are in every way superior. Life goes on.