Sometimes I forget.
Oh, right… I love writing. I have stories to tell. Okay.
Hey seems like a perfect time for an Insecure Writer’s Support Group post! (Don’t forget to visit the other IWSG bloggers!)
NaNo was a total fail for me (not surprising) so I shelved the project I’d started for it (very surprising) and started a new one. I’m really into the new one, though, so it might work out.
I think part of my problem with the NaNo story was it was too outside of my comfort zone. I tried to write some kind of mystery/romance and that just isn’t my thing. I don’t even love reading that, honestly. So why did I try to write it? I think in a bid to be more mainstream, more “serious” as an author. And if I’m honest, I was thinking about a lot of reviews I’ve got on my other stories (I know! I’m not supposed to read them or care. I do, though.)
The thing is, a lot of reviewers don’t like what I write. The worst part is, they are “getting” my stories. I can’t say, “oh, you don’t understand what I was trying to do with this story” because they totally do. They just don’t like it. And I know I shouldn’t read reviews, but I do, and then I let that influence my writing. How can it not, once I’ve read it?
I get plenty of good reviews, too, so I’m not complaining. But the bad ones stick with me longer, I have to admit.
I worry that I just don’t have the skills to write a compelling story. Or that I’ll just never be more than a quirky niche writer. Maybe that’s okay. Maybe I just need to come to terms with that. I don’t know. I was feeling pretty upset about it all, honestly. Then I went to Chipotle (veggie burrito, brown rice, extra guac) and my “cultivating thought” bag contained this perfect quote:
“When I was in high school there were 500 people in my graduating class. Out of those 500 people I had two best friends and five other real friends. So I had a true connection with seven people and did not have a true connection with 493 people. Now I create stories and hope that 500 out of 500 people will appreciate the work. That is impossible. I don’t love most things I see or listen to, why should they? The truth is I should be happy with seven people being touched or amused by my work. I think it is okay to accept the fact that most people won’t get you. We don’t need to like each other so much. We need to be kind and respect each other.”
-Judd Apatow Link to the full text here
So now I feel better, sort of. And I had a massive burrito, so there’s that.
How about you? Do reviews influence your projects? How do you deal with knowing you’ve disappointed readers? Are you okay with pleasing a small number of readers, or do you crave hordes of fans?