Hello all. I realize I’ve been saying sorry a lot, and this time is no different.
It is my intention to write a post each week, but that has not happened in a while because *drumroll please* I got engaged!
Hooray! I’m going to get married! And with engagement comes wedding planning, so I’ve recently been drowning in tulle and swatches. But I will make a greater effort to write more frequently as the biggest stressor (finding a venue/setting a date) has been taken care of.
Lately I’ve been feeling pretty up and down about my writing skills. And I’ve been falling into that dangerous trap of comparing my work with already published books. This, I think, is a very bad habit to get in to. Because the moment you find a less than superb book, you begin to feel a sense of entitlement. If they were published, then surely you will be too. You deserve to be published.
And in that, you begin to expect everyone who reads your book to come to this same conclusion. Anyone who has a different opinion is discounted and shunted aside. Only those whose opinions fall into line with your own will be taken seriously.
Be honest with yourself. We’ve all at least flirted with this idea. I know I have, and I can name all the books that brought me to it. But if you want to be taken seriously as a writer, or even just as a person, you have to set your ego aside and realize the world doesn’t revolve around you.
Granted, your world may revolve around your book, and that’s what makes this whole process so difficult. We aren’t always wired to see things from another perspective right off the bat. More often than not, we have to work for it.
So I urge you, when you’re getting critiques by your beta-readers or rejection emails from agents, take a step back and approach things as objectively as possible. They don’t owe you anything, and their honesty is going to be the best thing for you and your work (unless they’re being hurtful just to be hurtful, that’s a whole other blog topic). After that, it’s up to you what you take in and use and what you discard.