Writing can at times be a rather dreary business. We scale mountain tops of brilliance and sink into valleys of muse-less weariness. Messages from readers are often the one thing that puts a little energy into our exhausted batteries.
Here are a few of the best things I’ve ever heard from a reader—some are paraphrased:
- “You made me laugh.” “You made my cry.” Evoking emotion in a reader is always an amazing feeling for an author.
- “I adored ‘insert character name’ so much!” My characters are my babies so anytime they become a reader’s favourite makes my day.
- “I can’t wait to read your next book.” Self-explanatory really, nothing more encouraging than hearing someone wants to see more from you.
- “I’ve been in a similar situation to your character and the story made me feel less alone.” With After the Scrum in particular, I’ve heard this from readers who struggled with similar issues of anxiety, panic attacks, or acceptance from their family. As an autistic, I’ve had moments when it seemed as if I were the only person in the world going through it so I understand the importance of not feeling alone.
I hope readers understand how powerful their support can be for writers.
And thank you.
Or, why I don’t use them.
- An outline tends to be far too linear for the way my brain works.
- They annoy me.
- They feel way too much like work. Writing has to flow–work doesn’t flow.
- The one time I wrote a true outline it changed twenty times in a day and I ripped the page in frustration.
- I have nothing pithy to say about outlines.
Do you use an outline?
The last five days were spent in a haze of medication while I recovered from a surgery at the dentist. I thought I’d share five thoughts about the visit.
- Reading reviews about the dentist was surprisingly insightful and helpful. Reading reviews of my book while in pain and drugged was not insightful and helpful.
- Dentists really like fish. Seriously. There was this massive aquarium with many many fish.
- Valium and laughing gas made the surgery quite a hazy bluer. This was a good thing.
- Gauze might be a tool of torture. Biting on it was almost worse than having the tooth yanked.
- Being restricted to ‘taking it easy’ is also like torture.
All in all, despite everything, the visit went brilliantly.
Are you afraid of dentists like I am? How do you cope?
I thought I’d share a few things about my weekend–mostly because it’s Monday and my brain refuses to do any deep thinking.
- I bought a new shower curtain. (see above) Isn’t it lovely?
- Chocolate was eaten. Bad Dahlia, bad, very naughty breaking the diet.
- The house was cleaned. Go me!
- I read through All Lathered Up for the second time while waiting for my betas to get back to me. I hope to submit it to Hot Tree Publishing this week. *fingers crossed*
- Watched lots of football (soccer) and food network.
What did you do with your weekend?
OH! I also coloured in my adult tea colouring book. Have you gotten into the new colouring fad?
I’d planned a mildly more serious post for today, but decided it was too much of a Monday for it. So instead, I’m going to share five of my favourite musical Youtube subscriptions.
No. 1: The Piano Guys.
No. 2: Peter Hollens
No. 3: Pentatonix
No. 4: Cimorelli
No. 5: L.E.J.
What are your favourite music groups? Any non-traditional ones?
Donuts have nothing to do with this post.
I’ve found expectations to be rather dangerous things. They can kill relationships of every variety, damper success, and over-exaggerate failures.
Here’s five things about expectations:
1. My expectations are my own–no one else is in my brain to see them. How can anyone meet expectations they are unaware of?
2. As a writer, call I can do is my best. Placing pressure on myself on serves to heighten any failures–making them harder to overcome.
3. We often confuse goals with expectations. I prefer goals; something I have some measure of control over.
4. Managing expectations usually keeps me from being perpetually disappointed in others.
5. It doesn’t always work. Sometimes I still want to smack someone upside the head for saying they’ll do something and then they don’t.
Do you ever struggle with expectations?
It’s inevitable when you have a new release, reviews are going to come in–the good, the bad, and the ugly. It’s hard as an author. You’ve nurtured your novel. It’s your baby. You’ve cried, bled, and eaten gobs of ice cream in the making of it. You’ve drunk enough caffeine to flood all of London while banging your head against your desk.
So here are five things I’m reminding myself of at the moment:
- All creative endeavours are subjective. Not everyone will love the same thing. Excepting that will help keep your blood pressure down.
- Bad reviews will happen. Don’t comment. Don’t. They have a right to their opinion, and you gain nothing by responding.
- Seriously. Don’t respond to bad reviews. Ever.
- Enjoy the good reviews. Say thank you if you feel the urge.
- Write your novel for yourself, not others. So at the end of the day, all of your enjoyment won’t be wound up in whether or not others appreciate it as much as you will.
Keep lots of ice cream, alcohol and chocolate on hand. It might help keep you sane.
How do you handle reviews?