Monday, April 14, 2014

Writing 101: Taking Yourself Too Seriously

Admit it: have you ever teared up over a bad review? Have you ever lashed out on Twitter, yelled at a beta reader or had a total meltdown in the forums? If you're letting the criticism get to you, it's possible that you're taking yourself too seriously.

Everybody Loves a Clown? 

As an author, you pour a lot of really personal stuff and a ton of emotion into every page. You sweat and cry and pace and wonder and edit, edit, edit until your eyes become blurry.  Then you present your darling creation to the world...and the world promptly rips it apart. 

You get rejected. You get bad reviews. You get tweets and emails you'd rather not read, and you get a new sense of insecurity and self-doubt. This is the kind of stuff that happens when you self-publish...but it's also the stuff that happens when you traditionally publish. It happens when you create a painting or present a photo. It happens to all creative people who create, so you're not alone. 

If you put something out there for the world to enjoy, there are going to be people who don't. Some of those people are going to be vocal about it. And they're going to say stuff you don't like. 

That's when it's useful to remember that, above all else, you're an entertainer. Books are for entertainment, even the books that are non-fiction. Even cookbooks are for entertainment. And you are an entertainer...a bit like a clown performing for the crowds in the circus. 

Ask any performer, and they'll tell you that sometimes the crowd wants to throw tomatoes at you (or worse, rotten eggs). But sometimes they may throw roses instead. Entertaining the masses means having up and down days, up and down moments. If you're not taking yourself too seriously, you'll find that it's much easier to weather all this.

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