Sunday, November 7, 2010

Loving You

Friday, the 5th, I posted this comment and question on my Facebook wall:

"This thought popped into my head as I laboriously worked on my WiP today: Don't base
your self-worth upon others' opinions of your book. I hope I won't do that. Do you do that?

I had many responses and all of them proved very interesting:

Gaye Sharpe I don't. My writing is a flow yielding many streams, but I am a being, living, residing within the world. Whatever our words reveal, they do not show all of who we are. :)

C Michelle Jefferies While I don't base my self worth on how others view my work it is cool to find someone who LOVES what you wrote. Definately stokes my ego.

Bethany Wiggins I have learned not to, but it is a hard thing to do!

Jenn Adams Wilks Yes, I do that. No, I shouldn't. Thanks for the timely reminder! :D

Elana Johnson Yes. It's hard not to. A lesson I'm sure I'll have to learn sooner or later. Le sigh.

Marsha Ward There's always the initial twinge at a bad review or disparaging remark, but you do get over it and realize you are not your book.

Bryan Coltrane That is the reason I never let anyone see my writing. I have tons of stuff, that I care not to know others opinions of.

Marsha carried a very encouraging dialogue with Bryan after his reply.

I know I tend to let others' thoughts affect the way I feel when they read my stuff. I've seen
authors feeling low after one bad review. And how we feel after several rejections. It's tough to keep a positive outlook because no one likes the feeling of rejection.

Writers are a tough lot. We have to be. Remember always, that what you have is special and we must try not to let others' views bring us down.

A saying my dad always used:

"You can please some of the people some of the time, but can't please all of the people all of the time."

I'd love to know your thoughts on this. Do you let the others' view of your books affect you?


  1. What an interesting range of responses. Sometimes I do find myself affected by the views of others, sometimes not. Sometimes I need the lift, sometimes I'm busy or tired, stressed or having a difficult time with it--those are the times I'm more likely to rely on others to be sure where I'm not. Most of the time, I hold my own.

  2. Yes and no - how they inform me of their opinion often gives me insight as to whom they are.. But mostly no, I love my book and want others to enjoy it and I do accept that it won't be everyone's cup of tea :)

  3. A perfect example why writers have to lean on each other .... for the support. Thanks for yours! :)Love the words of inspiration!

  4. Sort of. A friend of mine and I are bouncing ideas off each other as we write our respective stories. Her opinion is valuable to me because it tells me whether the story is interesting to an outsider or not. And if it's not, I make changes accordingly. Other than that, I don't really show anything to other people just to see what they think about it. They usually just say "Yeah, I liked it" or "I thought it was kind of strange" and don't elaborate on what they mean. But I still keep on writing.

  5. I do! :-) Readers' opinion matters - especially the constructive ones who are critical in a positive way. I always try to see the positives in what I critique. But I want people to be honest about my writing. I'd rather know if you like it or not. I wouldn't have said this years ago - now I think I've grown a third or fourth layer of skin that I hope makes me stand back from my work and accept how it is viewed by others not attached to it!

    Take care

  6. I do. I know that some responses are going to have to do with the readers' personality and the way they critique, but I still dwell on what they say.

  7. So few people have read my books that it's not a factor at this stage in my career. I know at the start I'll be struggling with this. But my crit partner for my current WiP is very encouraging so that's a good start. I am waiting for beta feedback on my last project and I'm antsy about that one.

    Lovely post.

  8. I've been fortunate thus far that everyone who has read my work has at least liked it and my crit patrners are loving my current wip as well as making some excellent suggestions for improvement. Of course, I'm not yet published so who knows how I'll feel when I see something negative in print. Then again, I'll actually be in print, too, so maybe it won't hurt too much.

  9. Although Marsha is right, you are not your book, we do put so much of ourselves into it, it’s hard not to feel put down sometimes. For me, I’m all too easily talked in and out of things. I’m slowly learning to believe in myself a little more though.
    The enigmatic, masked blogger

  10. Awe I love this. I try not to worry too much about pleasing everyone. Someone told me once that If I write a book that interests me then surely it will interest someone else out there. So I just focus on that. Pleasing one stranger would be worth it all.

  11. I'm lucky to not have any terrible reviews though some of the good ones had a line of criticism on some aspect of my work. Like others stated before me, the words from those who love my books offsets the negative by wide margins.

  12. I haven't had feedback from 'unknowns' yet, so I guess I will cross that bridge when I get to it, but I DO KNOW my work isn't me, and I know my ego is probably more resilient than it really even OUGHT to be. i think I will be down in the short term, but will bounce back pretty well. Taste is subjective, after all.

  13. Hi Elizabeth! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    I try to remember that this is an incredibly subjective business. Some people will like my story, others won't. What matters is that I like it - and I better like it, considering it takes me almost a year to write a novel! ;-)

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  15. Wow, every one here has a nugget of gold to add to my stash. Thank you! I feel as long as we can touch at least ONE soul out there, we've succeeded. I also like what Samuel said--it comes from within.

    I hope I can hold onto that when I'm published and reviews eddy around me like a storm. Lol, if I'm that popular, that is! ;)

  16. I think all artistic people feel an attachment to their creation, as if it's an extension of them. I know my true worth (and He that created me) but yes, someone's low opinion of my book bothers me.

  17. *Hugs* Alex. I know how you feel. I guess, as it is human nature, we can't help but feel judged because, as you've said, it is an extension of who we are. I need to read your book, btw!!! Grrrrr...

  18. Not yet - but I'm sure there will come a day when someone hits a nerve. So far I have thicker skin than I thought I would. I guess that's good. :)
    Have a great week!

  19. Elizabeth - I just read your comment over at Scribbler's Cove. I haven't commented here in a while but I lurk often.
    It was nice to hear someone else who can just sit and write. People seem amazed. It's interesting because I realize that getting words down on a page quickly is a rare gift but I would imagine too that both you and I pull our hair out with editing.
    I could be wrong.
    Looks like you're keeping PLENTY busy over here!

  20. This is a constant struggle for me. Thought I've been writing since I was seven, I've only been terribly serious about it since September 2009. Nothing published, nothing very polished, I haven't shared a lot of my work. Still, as I work on my (hopefully) debut novel, I wonder perpetually what people will think of me and I hope they will like me for it. I HAVE to get over these thoughts before I move toward publication.

    Thanks for the reminder! Lovely blog! :)


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