Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Do you have protection?
For a long time I didn't tell anyone I was writing novels.
However, for the record, I'm married to a loud Irishman and he'd tell everyone and anyone I was writing books--whether I liked it or not :) The first person he bragged too? A good friend of ours who is a frickin' professional poet--I wanted to evaporate on the spot. He's...enthusiastic (I'm thinking brash) and doesn't understand that writers have delicate egos and sensitive natures.
Yes, I swore. Sorry.
The moment you decide you want to be a published author you cannot afford either a delicate ego or a sensitive nature. You will get tromped over and spat out like last year's...what, last year's what? Christmas turkey? Christmas pudding (no, that lasts forever), last year's failed political candidates.
That is a terrible simile, and you know what? I don't care. Well, I care, but I'm not going to let it eat me alive while I try to think of a better one. Because there comes a point in time when you have to let the words go. And after that, you need to grow skin as thick Kevlar and the sort of unfeeling personality that normally gets people locked up for being narcissistic sociopaths, because otherwise the criticism will destroy you and your creativity.
So IMO, unless you're Lady Gaga and BORN THIS WAY, you need to develop some personal body armor. Because at some point, be it your father-in-law saying you write 'filthy books' during a family luncheon, or getting slayed on a review site, you will get some negative feedback. Not everyone will love everything you write. And, if you want to keep writing, you need to strap on your protection and just smile as you take it.
You can be sensitive beneath the armor, but don't forget to reapply when the arrows start flying.
Excuse the pictures of two of my heroes (my models for STORM WARNING & SEA OF SUSPICION)...here's a third, without armor, Henry Cavill, who I used as my hero pin-up for my next Carina Press story, EDGE OF SURVIVAL. Actually, he looks good even without armor :) Oh, Theseus.