Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Before the Screams Die Down...

Some friends and I were having a discussion the other night. A couple of them said that they couldn't sing. But that's not true. We can all sing. The problem is that our singing may be so horrific that people cannot listen.

The same with dancing. We can all dance. However, sometimes it's painful to watch those with no sense of rhythm.

The same with writing. Some may tolerate our writing, even if we're writing "off key," even if we have no "rhythm." Some may even find it interesting. Much like William Hung who tried out for American Idol and became a media celebrity. But that type of celebrity is short lived.

Someone gave a stat the other day. Ten percent of people we come in contact with will dislike us. I'm sure that varies depending on the person. The point is that we will put our work out and at least ten percent of the population will dislike it. For no reason.

And it shouldn't matter to us. Especially Christian writers. We obey God and put our work out, not caring if 10, 20, or 50% dislike it. It's none of our business. It is only our business to put out quality work that glorifies our creator.

Yet, it's hard to beat down those feelings when we first publish a book. A lot of people have likened publishing a book with giving birth. Yes, it is a lot like that, but a lot more painful. At least for me.

I've said this before. When I write a book, I become immersed in the story. I am living the story. Most stories have a degree of conflict (otherwise how boring that would be!). So, I wrestle with the same problems as my characters. And, then, I publish the book. (Some people sit on their books for years before seeking publication. The following does not apply to them.)

With a baby, we are given years to "polish" the child. However, our books are pushed out into the world before our screams completely die down. Thus, our emotions are raw. We are vulnerable to the slightest slight. We are in the midst of postpartum depression. It doesn't take much to reduce us to tears.

Or, maybe that's just me.

We want people to revel with us in our joy of producing our work. We want people to wipe the sweat from our brow. We want people to support us on our wobbly legs.

I'm beginning to think that upon publishing a book a writer needs to completely distance themselves from it. Go on vacation. Take a cruise.

Yeah, I'll do that one day. Today, however, I have to stand upon my legs that wobble. I have to wipe my own sweat from my brow. I have to stuff my feelings down and repeat the mantra...I did my best. It's none of my business now who likes it. It's none of my business...it's none of my business...it's none of my business...

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