I’ve covered the subject of worrying about what people will think of your writing but it’s such a major issue that we face as writers that I don’t think I can cover it enough. Why are you a writer? Do you dream of being published? Having a bestseller on the bookstore shelves? Or is it to clear your mind and heart of things that you can’t deal with any other way? If it’s the 3rd choice, you don’t really need to read any further but I’d like to add, you might just be writing about something that tens of thousands (or more) of people are also dealing with and you could possibly be a guiding light for them if you ever choose to share your writing. Just something to think about. For those of you that chose the 1st 2 options, I hate to break it to you but at some point, you’re going to have to share your writing with someone if you ever want to be published. A person whose opinion you trust, an editor, an agent, and, 1 day, a publisher. That’s the only way that you’re going to reach your goal. And there will be opinions, rejection, criticism…some positive/constructive and some not…, suggestions, etc…. And, when that happens, remember what I’ve told you before, you cannot take it personally. Each person that offers their opinion is doing from a place that is far removed from the place from which you wrote it. Especially the agent and the publisher, if you get that far. They are looking for something to market, to sell, to make money for them. They probably aren’t going to see it as your passion project that you wrote on weekends and lunch hours and late, late nights after everyone else was in bed. They’re going to look at the current market and if your book doesn’t fit into the money-making box that all the current bestsellers fit into, they’ll either reject it or tell you that it needs rewrites. They might even tell you what they want to replace some of your best writing with so that it does fit in that box. This is a business transaction for them so never forget that. How badly do you want to be published? Badly enough that you’ll make these changes or will you walk away with your manuscript intact? That moment might be years away for you but you have to think about these types of things now. Don’t say, “If I get published.” Say, “When I get published.” And go from there. Create that moment in your mind and work toward it with every word you write. Start sharing your work with others. Join a writing/critique group. And don’t just shut down when someone offers a critique that isn’t all rainbows and unicorns. Listen to them and consider it from a place that’s a little removed from your manuscript. They just might have a point. But, in the end, you have to decide whether to make any changes to your manuscript that were recommended by others. Look at it from the agent or publisher’s viewpoint. I will tell you that I walked away from an option from a publisher when he wanted to go in a different direction than I saw for Rapture because I couldn’t see my book being anything other than what I had written. That was me. You have to make your own decisions. Just remember, be true to yourself but be realistic and think about the future.
“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration. The rest of us just get up and go to work.” ~ Stephen King