Saturday, February 5, 2011
For whom are you writing?
I don't want my words lost once I'm gone. They may be meaningless for the greater whole, and they may not move a lot, but they're mine.
So now, after I've found someone liked my story enough to buy it, someone thought my story worth of distributing farther? I'm pleased, and a little awed. The other night I woke up thinking: "I've written a book. An entire book. Wow!"
I don't want to write for myself anymore. I write for those who like it. Now I'm going to have to face the next step, Rejection.
Over time, I've met people on the 'net whose opinion I value greatly, people who I consider "friends" of sorts. It's them I write for, and if they find something wrong with my writing, they tell me so politely and reasonably and I'll take their critic for what it is, constructive, and try to do better by them. But what about strangers?
It's that thing with separating the writing from the person. With any kind of work, really. If you do something you like, produce something you're proud of, and then find your work rejected by strangers, it's hard not to take this personally. As a reviewer, and a writer, I think I know the difference, and still I catch myself tripping over that issue. For example, I reviewed a book a while ago which I didn't like, for whatever reason. I tried to explain in my review why this particular book didn't work for me, and that the review reflected but my opinion. Later, though I found out the author in question talked down on me as a person. Not my review, not my opinion, me. Hello? You don't know me, and I don't know you. I might or might not like you as a person, and still criticise your work if you asked me to and I found something to criticise. I found myself scowling a that author for that, and yes, I found myself consequently prejudiced about his writing. Id' be likewise wary if someone praised me as a person only because I loved his writing and said so in a review. I'm not my writing, and neither are you. So if someone can't discern between me and my writing or, even worse, between himself and his writing, I can't help wondering what this person's problem is. People can say about my writing whatever they want, maybe they're right, maybe not, as long as they leave my person out of it. That's what I think.
I try, at least. Remains to be seen how cool I can be when the first reviews on Desert Falcon come in...
Perhaps I'll indeed be sitting alongside Amy and Marie in the Crazy Tree, needy to feel loved by strangers who I don't care at all for otherwise through them loving my writing, or likewise feeling devastated and unloved if people give me a piece of their disapproving mind. I pray I'll be able to discern....