Becoming an author is not for the faint of heart. It’s similar to other artists – you create and then you release your work to the world and wait. . . and wait . . . to see what the response will be. Will people “get it”? Will they like it or, gulp and fingers crossed, even love it? Will they talk it up with their friends and write reviews that help spread the word and help you become an overnight sensation? Or will they hate it and boo you off the proverbial stage?
As a writer, you need thick skin. I knew that going in . . . but just how thick I didn’t know. Releasing your first novel out into the world bares you for all to see. You are standing there naked for the first time and asking people what they think. And not everyone is going to love your work as much as you and your family do. Let’s face it – your parents, siblings, or children are biased – or they should be! But others can be tougher on your work – and for that you need to don your rhino skin.
Now, if you have been sitting around on the sofa eating bon bons, the reality is you might not hear what you want. But if you have been working your craft – working hard – and doing the right things you might be getting some head nods and smiles. Maybe even a few strong embraces! And that is all good for a writer – it makes you want to go back and work harder, put in more time, enlist the best help of editors, cover designers, proofreaders (your personal trainers) and the like to make you look like a God or Goddess while standing up there naked and holding out your new book to the world.
The key thing to keep in mind is to work hard, enlist the right people to polish your book, and then remember that everyone has their own opinion and perspective. You can do all the right things and get a 5 star review from a stranger who absolutely loved the story, characters and the world you created, and another who will read the same book and give it one star and awful. You ask yourself ‘did they read the same book?’ They did, but to each his own. If they offer constructive criticism in their low star review, take it with a smile and learn from it. Keep that rhino skin on and understand that even the best authors out there get bad reviews every now and then.