Friday, June 1, 2012

Wearing A Heart

When you ship your manuscript off to an editor, friend, or beta reader, you sit on pins and needles until it makes its way back home. Some writers fear the tearing apart of their work and some are rewarded for those fears.

I'm going to give some advice to anyone that will listen:

Get your heart off your sleeve.

Realize that when people rip you apart, they are helping you. EVERY comment on your work is helpful, even if it says, "This is total shit." Sure, it's shocking and it may cause you to widen your eyes, pull back your ears, and tilt your head down a little, but don't fly off the handle and cry. If you do that, you're only defeating yourself.

When someone leaves a comment like this one:

I have always loved XXX's writing! I have been reading his work for 35 years. That said, this book/story changed my opinion that he could never write a bad book. I could not believe how this story ended. It read like a story a 10 year old would write. I turned back and forth between the last 2 pages 3-4 times thinking I had somehow skipped pages. After reading XXX and XXX this year, I was left feeling like I had wasted the hour it took to read this book.

Listen to it. Think about why the person felt that way. Be objective about your own work. I know it's hard but it can only help you in the long run. If people leave a lot of comments like the one above, something is wrong.

BTW, the author that got that comment is HIGHLY renowned. It had a 1 star rating with it. He is wildly successful and has sold billions of books. The moral of the story? We all create a turd now and then. Do you think he quit writing? Nope.

If you are someone who can't take criticism, you're in the wrong career.

For as long as there have been people who create, there have been people who do not like the creations. I'm reminded of a Mel Brooks film - History of the World Part I - where there is a caveman drawing on a wall and another comes up, takes a look, scratches his chin, and pees on the artwork. Everyone else in the room cave liked it so why does that one critic get all the attention? Because he had a negative reaction.

Whatever you do, DON'T let the words of ONE person bruise your ego.

Now, if you get a LOT of those comments, you need to stop and ask yourself why people are saying what they are saying. So what if you worked for a year on your book? Something is wrong with it and you need to figure out what that something is. Fix it in your next book.

If you don't believe in yourself, how are you going to get other people to believe in you? NEVER give up if it's something you TRULY want.

I know it hurts but, eventually, you'll become numb to it. You NEED to hear each and every opinion. Don't take it to heart, take it to mind.

That's all for today, folks!! Don't forget!! Yassa releases in just THREE days!! June 4th!! BE EXCITED!! I am!! Hell, if it only sells ONE copy, that's one more than I had today :)

Until next time, WRITE ON!!

Jo

2 comments:

  1. Couldn't agree more! Of course, I'm also the scary freak who LOVES any sort of criticism and isn't above begging people for it.

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    Replies
    1. As am I. Even if it's bad, at least it's something. Thanks for making me feel like less of a weirdo :)

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