I wrote this little book, you see.
The goal was to publish it, and after two years (nearly), move on to a few other projects mulling around in my brain.
But this book, this book just won’t get right. Of course, I hadn’t known even 2.5 months ago that I’d be moving across the country. Then I saw myself doing necessary rewrites and getting this thing done. Instead, I feel I am forty five (thousand) steps from where I should be. Now, whenever I think about it, I sort of feel all panicky and breath absent. And the thing is, I know of a handful of people around the web who have self published some of the most unedited books I’ve ever read. While this should serve to reassure me, it only adds to the pressure. Without a big house backing a book, are there populations of people who look down on self published authors as worthless or rejected? I mean, is it really any different than the independent music or film projects? One out of every 3 indie films is far superior to the majority of main stream released movies.
I likely shouldn’t feel as overwhelmed and incredibly inadequate as I do- yet with every passing day the pressure looms. Grows.
And I reread the book, and I love it. I am proud of it. It is personal and relevant. But not for everyone, and thats the part I do not like. The truth is, I want my book to be for everyone. I want everyone to love it, and by extension me.
And there you have it.
I have only ever had two people tell me my writing was awful. One of them had an opinion I placed far superior to all others, undeservedly. The other didn’t say it in so many words but still, I have to wonder- is it that I just couldn’t appeal to those two people, or am I surrounded by people who lied?
Oh, fear… Fear of failure, you are but a vicious foe.
I want my book to be beautiful. I want it to be some semblance of a poetic snapshot of life moments that can reach out and touch someone else. I want some small piece of the world to be better for it. I want to be better for it. This truth is when I realize, my book- the writing of my book and the publishing of said book- has to be for me.
I’d like to say that alleviates some of the pressure, and maybe it will. Not yet though, but soon. I hope.
11 thoughts on “rainy day confessions…”
But even if it’s only one person … one stranger who stumbles on your book and it changes them, won’t that be worth it? It is a huge blow when someone doesn’t love what you did, because that something (book) is a part of you and there is no way on God’s green earth to not take it personally, but you have just got to do it! You’ll be so proud of yourself and people will get to know you that much more. It’s worth it. Now stop editing it to death and cut yourself some slack and let us read it already!
And that’s just it… :) And you are such a great lead to follow. I had someone edit it a couple months back and haven’t opened it since then. No worries about editing it to death, I just tend to AVOID it. :)
Oh yes, me too! Today is my day off – PERFECT for getting huge amounts of writing done! What have I done all day? Ummmmmmm. Spent an inordinate amount of time on FB … commented on your blog … wasted time on Pinterest … opened my document … closed my document …came back here to see if you responded to my comment…
Well at least that is just one day and not half a year. :) my new goal is September.
Sent from my iPhone
All of those are totally valid feelings. There will ALWAYS be critics. But, it is harder to take the negative when the story is so personal. You’ve been working on this project for so long, it has become you. You feel like you’re putting yourself out there. That is very scary.
Two years isn’t so long. Especially when I didn’t touch it for 6 months of the first year due to health and four months of the second. Well, I guess six months since it’s been another two. :) I think any project that needs an investment of yourself would be personal.
“I want everyone to love it.” I understand, but point blank – that’s never going to happen. Mama used to say the only thing everyone likes is water – it’s colorless, odorless, and tasteless. You want to say something and in your words and that is what is going to touch your readers and you can’t do that if EVERYONE loves it.
And I know this… I know it well, but I am realizing my heart unrealistically wants it just the same.
Writing is like any other form of art. You will find enthusiastic supporters and relentless critics. Soak up the encouragement from the first and test the second for valid criticism that stands the test of professionalism. And remember: if you love writing, don’t let anyone stifle your passion :)
So true, and great advice, Traci. Thanks!