Saturday, March 3, 2012

It's okay to get your hopes up

If you're like me, you can't write when you're in a bad mood or feel discouraged. For those who haven't been writing/published long, I should warn you, you will often feel discouraged. This is a discouraging business.

There will be both big and small things to bring you down. For example, I've had several reviews comparing my books to another author. Now, she's an excellent writer and very famous. The first time, it was flattering. The third and fourth time, not so much. I want to be known for ME, not because someone THINKS my work sounds like somebody else. Especially, since I don't read the other author's work.

Another example, (don't worry, this is not a rant) my short story Eaten by The Wolf. Even though the description says it's a short erotic story, 10 pages in length, people still leave bad reviews. Their only complaint? The length. It's one thing if they didn't know. But when you're told upfront (not to mention the story is FREE) then why leave a bad review?

I shared that (not just to complain) but to share this. I plan to turn Eaten by The Wolf into a full novel. Not only that, but it will be the first in a trilogy. I'm making notes on the project right now. What did ANOTHER bad review do for my ideas? I'll tell you, it shot them straight to hell for another afternoon.

But I can't let it do that or this awesome story I've got in my head will never be told! And it's worth telling. I've read enough to know a good story when I hear one and I've been hearing this one in my head for weeks now. It may be the end of the year before I get to actually begin work on it. I've got a lot lined up this summer. We'll have to wait and see.

My point is, I can't let what people say influence me to the point that I give up. I know other writers that will get a bad review and want to give up. Just because someone decides to be a jerk (and probably did so LOUDLY) they think all their work is crap. (I'm guilty of this too.) But you can't think that way! (On a side note, I'm not calling everyone who leaves a less that perfect review a jerk. Having a valid point is well, a valid point.)

Do lots of other people like your work? Have they told you so? How many times have your books been downloaded? And out of all those times, HOW MANY people complained? If your story has been read by thousands of people and only a handful complain, maybe they are too picky. Or if one person writes a REALLY nasty review, maybe they're just an asshole.

It doesn't mean you suck. Your books aren't crap. Every writer needs to hear this, regardless of the genre you write. Storytelling is how we communicate so much about life. Fiction has the power to make you see the real world differently. Maybe someone is going through a rough time in their life and they like to read romance. They get to read about someone who overcomes their problems and finds love in the end. Yes, it's only a story, but it has the power to make that person who read it feel better. Encouragement is a good thing, no matter what form it comes in.

There's no telling how many people your work may have encouraged. It might have brightened their day, made them laugh, made them smile. You can't quit. This is what you were meant to do with your life.

So, get up and get encouraged. Tell the stories you've got inside you. People do want to hear them. Maybe not those jerks who wrote the bad reviews, but they aren't the only people in the world.

You are unique. You are valuable. You have something to offer that no one else has YOUR WORDS.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the words of encouragement. Valuable wisdom: you're the only one who can tell 'your' story.
Short stories do frustrate me a bit, since I can see the potiential for them to be excellent full-lenght books. I'm glad you're turning yours into a novel, even a trilogy. Good for you. Never sell yourself short.

Bridget Bowers said...

It is true how hard it is to create when you are in a bad mood or frustrated. It is also true how easy it is to get trapped in those moods because of the little things. I say little because if you think about all the work and effort you've put into a project to get it into people's hands, the fact that a few don't like it as much as you hope is just one small piece of the larger puzzle.

Glad to see that you realize how important it is to soldier on and to remind others that we all have those moments. Shared pain and frustration is easier to deal with. Keep up the good work!

Tracey H. Kitts said...

Thank you Natalia and Bridget:)