Where we go from here.

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I’m not really someone who does well with change. :-\ I know. It totally makes me “one of those people.” There are some things that are fun changes. New clothes? Fun. Changing a room around? Cool. People moving away? Mmm… not so cool. Putting yourself out there? No thanks.

Here’s one of my goals this week for my writer’s group: Send book out to 10 agents.

:{ Yeeeek! I know!

But as much as I hate to put my work out there, what’s the alternative? I can’t let it just sit in a file on my desktop metaphorically collecting dust. So it’s got to go out. Decision made. *Knees wobble*

Here’s the thing. I don’t have a kid, so I have no idea what it’s like to send your heart out into the world and see what happens. This is my equivalent. And lately, maybe it’s been all the stewing over this I’ve been doing, I’ve been feeling that we really need to be kinder to each other. People are messy. We’re soft and sad and pure and happy. We have fears and goals and insecurities. Sometimes we’re conceited. Sometimes we feel lost and confused. But we’re always, all of us, people, similar in that basic messiness. I think forgetting that is a something so dangerous.

And it’s something we tend to forget behind the safety of our keyboards, in the quiet corners where we share opinions with friends, in the laughter we spout at someone else’s sake. Sometimes, we’re freakin’ mean. Just take a peek at Good Reads reviews or Amazon reviews or comments on Twitter or any of the other seventy-thousand places people can say things without consequence these days, hiding behind a stupid pseudonym. So you didn’t like a book. That’s fine. You don’t have to. But do you need to bash it for twenty paragraphs? Do you need to insult the author? Do you need to make fun of the thing that they put out there, their heart? Absolutely not. And I’m just as guilty as anyone else of this. Really, where do I get off saying that I hate a book or an author? I know the only reason I’m trying to bring them down is to make myself feel better, and that’s lame.

I’m not saying that everyone needs to be happy and say they loved everything. Not at all. I think healthy critique is… well, healthy. Constructive. Good. Wouldn’t it be nice to see, “I didn’t really enjoy this book because I didn’t connect with the main character. This probably has just as much to do with my life and my personality as it does with how the author wrote it. Good on them, though, for writing this story and putting it out there.” Wouldn’t that be refreshing? Then authors might actually be able to check their reviews without having a good cry each time someone tells them that they should have died instead of writing their book.

Ugh. And authors are some of the worst. To each other! Give a critique of work, but keep in mind that these stories are a part of the person that wrote them. They’re their words, their heart.

I realize that I’m not going to change the internet with a blog post that five people read, but I have to think this way, I have to hope this way if I’m going to put my heart out there. I have to hope that the people who have forgotten what it’s like to be a person with a story they love, that they will look past me. (Of course they will.) I have to hope that someone out there will see my writing as something fun. Something that could be great. Because I don’t know what I’m doing, really. I love my story, but it’s messy, because it’s about people and life. Sometimes people aren’t going to like my characters. Sometimes they might not understand the way I write. But that’s okay. No author ever set out to write a book that everyone in the world will love. That’s stupid. And impossible. Gosh, I’d settle for like ten people just loving my story. =) That’d be awesome.

It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be a story. And in our minds we have to let that be enough.

And then maybe we can get through the hurtful things people type behind keyboards. Maybe we can get over the ugly things we say about our story in our minds. Maybe we can just love it enough to let it shine to those people who were always going to love it and forget those who never were.

Anyway, that’s my sappy hope. It’s what I’m telling myself as I prepare to send this puppy out there, this piece of my heart. This chunk of my last few years. Because I’m a person who’s far from perfect, so my manuscript is, too. But I’m a person, with feelings. Lots of them. We all are. So be kind next time you’re giving your two cents on a piece of someone’s heart. Someone’s art.

Thanks.

Eryn

The BEAUTIFUL piece of art above is called “Vast and Amazing” by FreyaArt on Etsy. Check her stuff out; it’s vast and amazing!

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Where we go from here.”

  1. I think you said it beautifully! I think as writers we should be even more kinder to each other because we know what it’s like. I think as people we should stop being so self absorbed so that we can see what others may be going through. Such a good post:-) It made me promise to slow down, listen more, and talk less.
    YOU”RE AWESOME:-)

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