Announcing you are an author and writing a book takes courage.
You are putting yourself out there when you tell family, friends, acquaintances, and even strangers you are writing a book.
People will have different reactions. Some will show support. Others may get excited. A surprising number will be negative. The reactions are all over the spectrum.
If a parent, partner, or spouse isn’t supportive it hurts. I can hurt very deeply. For many writers finishing the first book is a lifetime dream. Just sharing you are writing exposes yourself.
Too often your spouse, parents and friends just don’t get it. They may even be shocked and horrified by what you write. Don’t be surprised if you write romance, erotica, violence, or horror that people are shocked by what you write.
When you write you put your personality into your book.
The book is an expression or who you are. It reflects your mores. Do not fool yourself, people will judge you by what you write. If it has Christian themes they may call you a religious nut. If it has shooting and beatings, they will call you gruesome. If it has sex they may think you are a sex fiend.
You’ll find the judgment of more severe when you have just one book. With only one book it becomes the lone standard by which you are judged and unfortunately, often attacked. When you get two or three or more books the public sees different sides of you. The more you write and publish, the more you bloom. You’ll find your self-assurance increasing. You will proudly declare you are a writer; you are an author.
It doesn’t stop here. Almost all will have an opinion about you and your writing
When you first start writing, you may be timid in letting others know you are writing a book. After all, almost everyone says they are going to pen the next great novel. You know lots of people talk about writing a book, but few really finish one. Dealing with the criticism and praise can be confusing.
You will confront disapproval, pessimism and judgement. You will wonder how family and friends can be so mean in their comments. You will feel worse as you share with beta readers and go through the editing process. It will feel like they are attacking you personally when they are just sharing their thoughts on the quality of your writing.
You have to be thick skinned. You have to listen to the editors and make corrections and grow. The criticism will start dying off as the editing process continues and you show them you are actually going to do this. When they see you can follow through, the kind words will follow. The criticism will decrease unless you have written on a hot topic.
The skeptics will diminish as you complete your project. If you give up and quit, be prepared to hear the I knew you didn’t have the self-disciple comments. Those comments are probably on target.
You’ll find how you react change to others over the writing process. At first you almost apologize for being a writer. Your self-confidence grows as you get further into and then actually finish the book. You become proud of what you have done.
There’s more. You can’t please everyone. Some will not like your book.
This is inescapable. You have to face. If you are the emotional type, this will be hard. You’ll soon learn if your temperament is right for this sort of work. This is really amplified when you are a new author and emotionally attached to your work. You may feel that a rejection of your book was a rejection of you. This isn’t the case, but it is a hard lesson to learn.
Here are a few thoughts to help deal with these experiences.
Realize that how you feel and react is normal.
You are just learning about writing books and the business of writing. Don’t beat yourself up. There will be enough others doing that to you. Be easy on yourself and learn from the experience.
When the hurtful comment is left as a review or when someone says it to your face, don’t take it personally.
Go ahead and take a deep breath, exhale slowly and do not rebut or argue with them. Ask yourself if it is useful criticism that you can try to use to improve your book. If yes, learn from it; use it. It might be jealousy. If so, smile and ignore it. Is it jealousy, or a comment that does not help?
Positive self-talk helps.
It took guts to write your book. Your view is valid. Remind yourself you can be an author. Remember you are creative. Self-talk is okay. Psych yourself up. Repeat and say over to yourself you can write the book. Someone once said, “Fake it until you make it!”
You can do it!
Writing and publishing a book is an attainable object. The one ingredient you’ll need more than anything is persistence. Take a long term view. Set deadlines and meet them! Most of all, enjoy the journey. If your writing touches one life or heart you are a success.
Remember, when people make remark about you writing and your dream of writing a book, just take a deep breath, nod, and carry on. It’s your dream. If you can dream it, you can achieve it.
Hold on tight to your dreams and then achieve them!
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