picking apart the writer.

| Monday, May 31, 2010
Today's Tune: The Calculation

I was reading a post by a popular blogger, as I am wont to do, (maybe you've heard of her?), and some of the discussion in comments led me down my Musing Path, which is what I call it when I zone out and let my mind roll around a topic.

Anyway, I got to thinking about something that probably plagues many aspiring authors. It's also entirely possible that I'm super weird and like to put my cart way in front of my horse (which is a unicorn, in case you were wondering), but I digress. The topic! I was thinking about!

I have dreams. One of those dreams is to finish my book (which I should really get on, I know), find someone who wants to represent/publish it, have people read it, and receive maybe some modicum of recognition for it. Money wouldn't hurt, either. Maybe. Someday. Hey, it's a dream, right? Alongside this dream is the occasional daydream about how I'll get sort of well-known and I'll have fanboys and fangirls and they'll have megadeath debates (minus the death) about my book.

But, being sort of a realist, somehow the haters weasel their way into my daydream. I know, WTH, I can't even keep people that don't like my work out of my daydreams? But this is a fear I have, and probably a lot of other writers have. I'm writing something that is going to be close to my heart, and there are people out there who aren't going to like it. Who may pick it apart.

One of my bigger concerns is that they'll pick me apart. This is where the blog entry I mentioned at the beginning of this post comes in - the blogger I linked to talks about being Mormon, and one or two commenters brought up people picking books/authors apart (one big author in particular whose name we all know) over that influence. Whether or not it's fair to do this is another issue, but the issue I was thinking about is how we, as authors, can protect ourselves from our personal beliefs, politics, actions and personality being projected onto our writing by those analyzing our work.

Here's what I came up with: we can't. If a book receives any sort of national recognition, it's very likely that it will inspire discussion, especially if it's somewhat "controversial" or has an overt leaning (religious or otherwise). It may come to pass that a group of people who don't like our particular brand of whatever (religion, political leaning, blah blah) will use that as a springboard to discount or ream our writing.

And you know? Let them. Doesn't really matter what you do. I mean, you could be a Christian and write a wildly popular fantasy series about wizards and friendship and love and overcoming evil, and people want it banned for promoting the "Occult." Or you could be an atheist and write a wildly popular fantasy series about daemons and friendship and love and overcoming evil, and people want it banned for "pushing an atheist agenda." You can't win.

People are judging judgers who judge. The fact that they sometimes have a point doesn't change the fact that sometimes they don't. All we can do is write the story that speaks to us, and if by some miracle it gets popular, enjoy the good and take the naysayers in stride. Hopefully they don't attack us personally, but if they do... well, that's on them.

Wow, I liked my parenthetical asides on this one, didn't I? (I did).

8 comments:

{ Mary McDonald } at: May 31, 2010 at 8:05 AM said...

Like they say, any publicity is good publicity. ;-) Just kidding. At least, I think there are some kinds of publicity I'd rather do without, however, in terms of book discussion, I would be *thrilled* if my book inspired debate. How cool would that be? If yours does, I consider that a good thing because it made people think. Much better to have that, even if they don't agree with you, than to be forgotten the second they read the last page.

{ fairyhedgehog } at: May 31, 2010 at 8:37 AM said...

I'd hate to face personal attacks but you're right that we can't let it stop us. In any case, I think the chance that I'd ever write well enough for anyone to publish me is remote so it would be even more stupid in that case to let it get in my way!

{ maybe genius } at: May 31, 2010 at 10:59 AM said...

Mary: Very true - if people are inspired to debate about a novel, whether good or bad, it's because it struck a chord in them and made them think, which is a huge deal!

fairy: LOL. I have this problem, as well. I think about these sorts of things WAY before necessary. Get published first... THEN worry about people possibly getting mean about it, right?

{ Christi Goddard } at: May 31, 2010 at 11:37 AM said...

I'm a role player online, so sometimes I dream that my fantasy series will become a role play phenomenon. :-)

I think it's the jealous people who start the mud slinging. Lesser known authors are fairly safe because people know little about them. Great success brings the naysayers, so if I get to a point where there's arguments over my work, maybe that means I'll have been successful :-)

{ Wendy Ramer } at: May 31, 2010 at 4:56 PM said...

It's really a story about life. It doesn't matter if you're a writer a painter or even a teacher. People will judge you no matter what. But you have to have faith in your work and your own moral fortitude to put the judgers in their place. They are nothing more than people who are missing the artistic point.

{ Keri } at: June 1, 2010 at 1:09 AM said...

I also have that nagging feeling. I especially wonder, 'What if people I admire don't like my work?' but then I tell myself that as long as I like what I'm writing, then it doesn't really matter what the negative criticism is. We just gotta hang in there!

{ Kay } at: June 3, 2010 at 4:32 PM said...

"People are judging judgers who judge." I like that. And it's so true.

So how the heck is California?? Hope all is going great for you out on the West Coast!

Wanted to let you know that I posted an interview with Casey McCormick of Literary Rambles on my blog. She gave some great info and awesome background info on herself, as well as some insightful info for new and/or unpublished authors. Check it out when you get a chance:

www.kayemevans.com/blog

Take care!
K

{ Simon C. Larter } at: June 4, 2010 at 6:06 AM said...

I like parenthetical asides. (It's true.) Also, I like not giving a flying, er... fish? Yes. I like not giving a flying fish what people think about the themes in my work. I'm going to write sex, violence, and alcohol (and occasionally drugs) and if you don't like it, go read fluffy bunny stories or something.

Of course, I'm ornery like that. But I've heard it helps to be a bit ornery and have rhinoceros skin in the publishing industry. Or shark skin. Either or.

Great post, good lady! (I mean that.)

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