Monday, May 23, 2016

A Fine Line

One of the greatest pieces of advice I've seen concerning being a writer is "never insult the work." I had a bad habit of referring to my works as "turds" and I was admonished not to do that. It made me think of something about being a writer.

I'm in a bit of a rough patch as far as my writing is concerned. I've teased it quite a bit lately but I'm still not ready to talk about it. But I'm reentered that self doubt stage of being a writer, questioning everything. I started to think what happened that's making me think that.

As writers, we ride a fine line between arrogance, humility and hopelessness that I still haven't been able to balance.

Hopelessness is common. Writing is mostly rejection and it can be soul crushing. Even if you get an agent, it doesn't mean that it's all milk and honey. It just usually means more rejection, there's just someone there that believes in you as a writer so much that they are staking their economic well-being on it. I'm in that stage of staring at my work and wondering if I'm good enough. Or is it just that the publishing industry is highly subjective, and as I was also told once, on that given moment, I wasn't what the person reading my work was looking for.

Arrogance is almost as common. Read some of the comments on QueryTracker. People are angry when they are told they aren't good enough. They feel entitled to unconditional love for their ability and are angry when a busy industry professional can't tell them they are a special little snowflake. You can see the paradox, can't you? I wonder if paragraphs like my previous one come across as me being arrogant or bitter. You have to believe in your work and your ability, but is there a threshold for being too arrogant? Am I being arrogant by believing that my books WINTER'S DISCORD or THE LOST SCIONS are at least as good as some of the YA fantasy that's being lauded over right now? Am I arrogant that I believe it's better than some of the stuff? I don't feel that way. But maybe I am.

I like to think that I'm humble while still being confident in my work. But sometimes, and I've talked about before, I get wrapped up in feeling negative, like I do right now.

So, I'm going to continue walking that fine line and not sound like I'm griping.

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