Folks who follow this blog know that I frequently hang out at kboards – and if you have ANY sort of interest in indie-publishing you REALLY ought to start to hanging out there as well. There are folks on there that sell a HECK of a lot more e-books than I do – and they are more than happy to pass some of that knowledge onto other writers.
Early back in September a writer started a thread on the kboards Writer’s Cafe saying that she had begun to lose hope and did not know if she had the strength to keep on writing.
Some of you folks might have had a similar experience. Writing – ESPECIALLY independently-published writing – is a constant test of your faith in yourself and your own creative abilities.
So let me tell you what I told her.
I am 56 years old and have been writing for about forty years and I am still trying to figure things out.
Writing isn’t an instantaneous process. You don’t snap your fingers and become a “great” writer. You become a writer by writing a lot of stuff.
There are ALWAYS going to be crap-tacular reviews. There are ALWAYS going to be people who don’t like your stuff.
Look at how many people bought FIFTY SHADES OF GRAY.
I tried hard to read FIFTY SHADES. I tried three times and I could not get past the first couple of pages. It hurt my eyes. They are leaking puss right now just thinking about those first few crap-tacular paragraphs.
But THOUSANDS of people loved that book!
Don’t start figuring that every review is going to be positive – because they are not.
I just released a short novella and had a three day freebie giveaway to try to boost it’s profile. Among other things that promotion netted me eight reviews. Seven of those reviews were glowing. They loved me words. Wanted me to run for President – even though I’m a Canadian.
However one of those eight reviewers didn’t like my book. She peed all over the pages – great big splashing drops of sulphur-reeking e-urine – and she was giggling while she did it. She told me my words stunk so badly that her pet skunk died after sleeping next to her Kindle.
It was bad.
It was very, very bad.
Did I let it get me down?
Remember, you can’t please everyone.
Sit down, write – and please yourself.
Besides – I wish to the high holy Moose Mountains that I had a book with as many reviews as you’ve got. Obviously you must be touching some of those readers.
We’ve all got that inner prune – that sits there and farts at our creations and tells us we are no stinking good. Remember – that’s just the inner prune that is squeaking at you. Don’t pay it no heed. It won’t ever go away. Life doesn’t work that way. But you just remind yourself that the inner prune is NOT worth listening too.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Tell that inner prune to shut on up and then get back to your writing.
(stepping down from the pulpit)
Now that I am done thumping my chest let me assure you that even writers with as many years experience as I have encounter this gnawing nasty inner prune feeling. I’ll come up short and say to myself – “Vernon, who are you kidding? Your words are crap. You had to tie your keyboard to your ankle and jump off of into the deep end of the Arctic Ocean.”
What it boils down to is feeling the fear and doing it anyway.
Some old wisdom in a brand new blog entry.
yours in storytelling,
PS: Don’t forget that today is your last chance to pick up a copy of my BIGFOOT TRACKS: A CREEP SQUAD COLLECTION for FREE over at Amazon.
Or pick up a copy at Amazon.co.uk
If you’ve already picked up a copy I thank you. If you have read it and enjoyed it I could ALWAYS use a good review. And – lastly – please spread the word about this freebie anyway that you can. Tweet it, Facebook it, talk to your cat about it or just scribble the link on your nearest mensroom wall.