Friday, July 29, 2011

No messin' with the mojo, please!

Writing a story is surreal enough, but when that story begins to sell it takes on a whole new meaning. Honestly, it's like a double-edged sword. On one side are the people who are genuinely moved and are willing to shout your awesomeness to the stratosphere. On the other are people who, for whatever reason, just don't like what you wrote.

The more books you sell, the more opinions you get. Sounds reasonable ... that is, if you're not the author.

Writers spend countless hours organizing, writing, revising, restructuring, and then revising again. I've said before that I truly believe stories are given to us, and it's up to us to find the words that do them justice. But if we're concerned with the opinions of others, if we fear criticism, then we can't grow ... we can't create.

Pulitzer prize winner Richard Ford says one of the ten rules for writing fiction is to never read your reviews.  I'm beginning to understand why. Your job as a writer is to work hard, do the very best you can, and trust your betas and editors to tell you if your full of crap. Once it's decided that you've done a decent job, the story is sent it out into the world. Now its on its own, and you're off to write another day.

It's seems that most new authors (including yours truly) start out as approval addicts. Every word that's written about our book goes straight to our hearts. We take it personally. Too much praise and there's pressure to make sure the next book is as good as the last. Too much criticism and we drown in a pool of "you suck". Either way, an obsession with reviews messes with the creative mojo.

Take heart, it gets better. After a while you stop trying to please the world and realize why you started writing in the first place.