BRING ON THE CRITICS!!?
Well, my book is now done and up on Amazon and Amazon Kindle. After 7 months of writing, rewriting, editing, formatting , adding art work to the poems, re-editing, reformatting yadda yadda..it is up and out of me. I am very proud and relieved. I do feel like I had a baby after 7 long months of labor. haha. I’ve never had a baby but I can imagine it could be a similar feeling. As many of you know about me I believe in the wonderful words of authors who have gone ahead of me like Elizabeth Gilbert, author of many books, who said: ‘DONE is better than good’.
I do believe that my first book ‘Catch a Poem by the Tale’ is not only done but is better than good! My main goal was to ‘get it done’ and not let perfectionism stop me. YAY!
This book will probably not be the best I will ever write, though. Book 2 (which I am working on now) honestly I think I like even more. This first book is done though and I am very very proud of the accomplishment.
So many blessings came from this whole book writing process that I wasn’t expecting.
1. I feel a new energy and excitement about writing. (Poetry and Memoir)
2. I now have two wonderful friends/editors who assisted me and who I am so thankful for. Both of them will be around to help with the next books, which I’ve already started. Thanks, Michael and Steph.
3. I am moving on to Book Two and Three. Now that I have the experience of writing this book I’m sure the whole process will be easier and smoother with the next ones.
4. Through this book publishing process I now have a new sense of confidence, bravery, and belief in myself and my creative energy.
WHATEVER YOU DO IN LIFE, SOME WILL LIKE IT, SOME WILL NOT and SOME WILL BE INDIFFERENT
So, I knew that the moment the book went ‘live ‘and up on Amazon that it meant the reviews would start coming in. yeah yeah. I’m used to critics’ I thought. (I sang for years and years and always had to deal with them in various shows I was in. I even have a few poems in my book about critics.)
This time, as an author I honestly knew that I wrote this book for ‘me’ and I knew without a doubt I was proud of myself —so
BRING ON THE CRITICS!! I thought.
I knew I had to develop I very thick skin if I was going to be a writer and I was well aware that I was a beginner poet and beginner author of books. I did some research. I found these very applicable quotes about being a writer and dealing with critics. I love these:
‘The artists who want to be writers read the reviews. The artists who want to write, dont.’–Willliam Faukner
‘I would recommend the cultivation of extreme indifference to both praise and blame because praise will lead you to vanity, and blame will lead you to self pity, both are bad for writers’.–John Berryman
‘The important thing is that you make sure that neither the favorable nor the unfavorable critics moves into your head..and take part in the composition of your next work’.–Thornton Wilder
‘ Listen carefully to first criticisms of your work. Note just what it is about your work the critics dont like–then cultivate it. That the part of your work that’s individual and worth keeping’–Jean Cocteau
I especially liked the words ‘extreme indifference’.
So, today something funny happened. I was grooving on my creative energy, busily typing away and compiling my notes for my next book. Bob walked in the room and said, ‘I noticed today that you got two reviews on your book on Amazon already. One 5 star and one 3 star. 3 star? Ok. OK. What timing, I thought. I was just compiling this blog on critics. haahaa. The IRONY!
I knew I had to be able to deal with all of this eventually so it was time to look this thing squarely in the face.
So I read the reviews.
Funny. One reviewer said she didn’t like the word ponderance in my subtitle. Just last week another editor friend said just the opposite about that word; saying she absolutely LOVED the word ponderance. Haha.
The bottom line is: I like the word!
Isn’t that the lesson in life? Do what you FEEL in our gut? –Not listen to every else’s opinion (everyone has one). Ironically some of the themes of this first book are ‘following your heart ‘ and ‘being a rebel’.
It is very very brave for any creative person to put themselves out there, to put their creativity on the line, to bring something new into the world. Being vulnerable is DAMN BRAVE! For me, knowing that my deepest darkest thoughts and weaknesses are now out there in the world and I am brave enough to expose them makes me feel a huge sense of pride! How many people are brave enough to do that?
I am so excited about the writing process now. I feel it is the most precious gift I was given by the Universe so I am choosing not to look at the reviews, for now and will just get back to work writing my next books!
Oh, here are the next two book covers I am working on.: