When the onions in my vegetable bin started to go soft I either whirled them in my garbage disposal or consigned them to my worm bin for composting. Then one year when the garbage disposal seized up and my worm bin needed attention, but no more food scraps I simply dug holes in my garden and buried those rotting onions. Here's what happened in June.
Some fairly impressive live SCULPTURES, right?
Hide it at the back of the closet.
And my all time favorite . . . start a new story.
This time I chose a different approach. I re-visited that initial idea by reading my notes very carefully, especially the "elevator pitch" sentence. Here's what I found: The Edmunds family, Carlie, Keith, and their mom are well to do, living in a glamorous beachfront home, then they lose everything and have to rebuild their lives. That wasn't where the story was headed, but it was definitely where I wanted it to go.
I went back through the chapters, found the places I'd drifted away from the story line, cut out those parts, and . . . Yippee! SCULPTURE in progress. The Princess of Las Pulgas was back on track.
I began to think about other things that I might approach a little differently. Hmmmm. What about rejection? Usual reaction: pouting, lots of self-doubting, throwing a small fit where nobody can see.
So how about trying something else. Here's the plan: Really dig into that proposal, query letter, first pages. Something's wrong and it's my job to find out what. I can't rely on my opinion alone; that's really too subjective and by this time I've been joined with this piece of writing so long that I no longer have any perspective.
I happen to have a fab critique group, so I turned to them, but I had other options if I wasn't so blessed. The Verla Kay's Message Boards offer critique partner opportunities. There's always SCBWI as well with tons of readers wanting to exchange manuscripts.
Another good place is YALitChat. There's a small annual fee, but so worthwhile. The Teen Writers and Readers Group is excellent. I've used them to beta read and have had some eye-opening comments. The First Pages gives you a critique group of over two hundred readers. There are also groups to help with your Queries and Synopsis.
Whatever you choose remember, sometimes taking a different approach to handling a situation can result in unexpected and often rewarding results. SCULPTURES, for example.