Saturday, August 24, 2013

Fear not...

Life is full of occasions when we all feel...stressed. Whether it's a child's first steps, sky-diving or an unpleasant confrontation with a nemesis of epic proportion, fear is a natural and at times necessary response to our environment.
In the world of writing, the process itself is a collaboration of experiences. Frustration, elation, trepidation and yes...fear!
We toil over our keyboards, reworking and manipulating our characters and their worlds. We struggle to convey the proper balance of dialog, action and setting...breathing life into figments of our imagination with the ultimate goal of presenting them to the public. Our labor is a reflection of ourselves and as such a deeply personal and emotional attachment is developed.
Publishing is the ultimate goal of all writers. Period. Full stop. End of story. We want our works perused! No matter if you're a debut author or a veteran, there's always a certain amount of trepidation... even fear...of waiting for the feedback on your latest offering.
Human beings are eclectic. There's no way to please all of them at once! Such an impossibility is forgotten at times when the reviews start coming in. Inevitably there will those who simply don't like your work! They hate the style, the prose...too much backstory, not enough, to little character development or too much! Everyone's a critic...or are they? For every negative comment received, you'll likely receive positive feedback as well.
We tend to focus on the negative and we shouldn't...each type should be scrutinized carefully. Use both  to improve your work. No piece ever sold is universally accepted. Even the best sellers typically see up to 20% negative feedback! The key is to learn to not take such comments personally.
They feel personal! After months or even years of laboring on a project it's hard to remain objective but we must if we're to learn from and grow in the process. A thick skin is a necessary trait in the publishing world...persistence and a dogged determination are also prerequisites! Writing is hard...professional writing is even more difficult! 
Professionals use ever single tool and resource available to them...including those harsh reviews! Learn to take what is useful and pertinent and discard the rest. In the fast changing world of digital publishing the only constant is the one element that will never change. The reader!
Believe in your work and never stop improving your skill sets...fear not! 

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