I feel that, like others (I hope!) the worst part of writing is other people reading it for the first time! Writing it for months on end is wonderful, especially when I had to go through some tough times in hospital.
Once, when I was having a particularly nerve wracking scan (although the physicist was gorgeous, which was a bonus) I would lie on the bed and imagine I was one of my characters. A character that fears nothing, and can do anything. That way when I was lying or sitting there I didn’t feel like it was me, the character was doing the hard bits, I was just imagining it all! That may sound horrifically corny to you bloggers out there but it was one of my ways of getting through things, perhaps it could be method writing, like method acting!
Back to the point, having people read your work for the first time is horrible. I was excited because I wanted someone else to share it with, but I was terrified because they could turn around and say it is absolute tripe, who do you think you are, J K Rowling?
I recently posted about You Write On. My first review was great, I was so excited when I received it because the person said they really enjoyed it, they felt like they were there and that they wished they could finish it. I told everyone in my family and was so excited! Now, I’ve been waiting two weeks for the next review and I have to say it, I was getting a bit fed up. After the first review I got a lot more confident, someone else liked it, it must be at least half decent! Then, this afternoon I receive an email telling me I have received another review (at last, yes?) Well I read it, then I re read it. It wasn’t bad, they didn’t tell me it was rubbish! The person said, ‘Interesting plot line, especially since it’s done in the present day. Felt as if certain areas could have been tightened to give the reader more insight into the ruthlessness of the government, namely the boat and train scene. Here are a few things to consider;’ Now I know this doesn’t make complete sense as I have only posted the prologue, but after reading it I had to go off to a meeting so was a little down. Now I realise this is what I NEED! I need to give myself a shake. First of all, there are going to be much worse critics out there, because nothing is loved by all. Secondly that’s not a bad review, just the fact that the first was so good I think I was in a little bubble of ‘People like it maybe it could work?’
So more reviews will come, I think this time I wont be as excited, a little more caution might do the trick. Not everyone has the same tastes, I cancelled one reading assignment because it was a book with the genres, ‘Gay/Lesbian Fiction’, ‘Horror’ and something along the lines of ‘Erotic Fiction’ Some people may like it, it’s not my thing, so I need to remember that in terms of my own book, not everyone will love it.
I think hearing that it isn’t any good would be like hearing that your baby is ugly. You had some fun at the beginning, then you have months of carrying it around, before finally having to get it out onto paper you don’t want to hear that it is ugly or rubbish, because so much hard work went into it. I think that it is a massive achievement to have even written a book, half the time I cant work out how exactly I did it. But I look at my novel as something like a child, right now it’s rolling around on the floor not really sure what this strange world is that its been born into, but in a few months it will have found its legs and will develop into a human being with thoughts and personality. In a few months hopefully my book will be as good as I can get it and then I will set it free into the big wide world and wonder what will become of it!