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A Post About a Writer's Insecurities

Today's post, "The Fear Never Goes Away, So Face It,: can be found at http://magicalwords.net.  Visit the site and check it out!

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
stevenagy
Jul. 7th, 2008 12:42 pm (UTC)
Nice post.

I like the notion of arrogance as a factor. I can see that, and also see that it's a special kind, tempered by faith. You believe you've done the best job possible, first in draft and then in editing, so it isn't your fault that PW or Kirkus doesn't like what you wrote. You do. And the editor did, which is why they paid you for the piece.

But that anxiety ... well, that's what makes you want to connect with the world. Some people play sports, some go into public service or politics. We're just wired for writing.
davidbcoe
Jul. 7th, 2008 06:55 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Steve. There is arrogance to it; I think that arrogance has to be a component in all forms of art. We (artists) have to believe that we have something special to offer the world, that what we do merits the attention of everyone else. "Hey you! Stop what you're doing and read my book or look at my painting or listen to my song. This is worth your time, not to mention your money." It takes a special kind of wiring, as you put it. And you're right: I don't mean arrogant as a pejorative. I suppose arrogance of this sort plays a role in many professions: politics, sports, medicine, law. Is arrogance an essential ingredient in all forms of success? Hmmmm. Have to ponder that.
stevenagy
Jul. 7th, 2008 07:05 pm (UTC)
Is arrogance an essential ingredient in all forms of success? Hmmmm. Have to ponder that.

Essential? Probably. Though talent needs to temper it to some extent. Talent = a mixture of imagination, hard work and perseverance. The latter being where the arrogance helps. Too much, you're a bit of an ass. Too little and you're unknown.

I'm sure someone could make a connection between publishing and natural selection. Good old Darwin. :-)

hedwig_snowy
Jul. 7th, 2008 02:09 pm (UTC)
Monday Pep Talk (kick in pants!)
Wow. It does seem that we carry all our childhood fears with us into adulthood and all pretty much still 15 eh? :)

Glad that you have the ability to see that in yourself and face it head on.

Amazed that you actually read your Amazon reviews. That's like the dregs of criticism. Do you read all of them or just the bad ones? Checked and all your books have at least 4 out of 5 stars... That's better than Shakespeare does on Amazon...ok, I didn't check all of Shakespeare, but I'd bet he's got a 3 somewhere...

And, I have no idea what Kirkus is. Meh. :) Are you writing for people who have nothing else to do all day but find mistakes in, or have problems with, books so that they can justify their jobs by writing about that? I didn't think so. Critics. Yech! ;)

I appreciate that authors have web sites. It makes it much easier to keep up with upcoming works. Also, if they want to interact with their fans through email, then that's great as well. But, I can't say that I would take to heart everything a reader or critic said. The world is full of opinions. Opinions are like... well you know. (And yes, I get the irony that most of this comment is my opinion) :)

Still, I can see the reticence to put out the work and the concern about it being accepted. That's natural. Considering your success at this profession, I wouldn't expect a great deal of it by now. You write very well with great stories and characters. And, every artist has some work that isn't as readily accepted as much as all their other material, especially when they attempt to move from their comfort zone. It will probably happen that something you write isn't as popular as Tobyn or Southlands. Then again, if you don't write because of fear, then you're...uh...letting the terrorists Flippy McBush win! :)
davidbcoe
Jul. 7th, 2008 06:57 pm (UTC)
Re: Monday Pep Talk (kick in pants!)
Thanks for the kind words. Kirkus Reviews is, along with Publisher's Weekly and Library Journal and Booklist, one of the foremost literary review publications. They have a bit of a reputation for being hard to please.

But you raise a good point: I don't write for critics. I don't write for readers either. Not really. I write the stories that are in my head, because I have to write them. I write for me.
kmarkhoover
Jul. 7th, 2008 02:34 pm (UTC)
In this business to be successful you must have the courage to fail. I guess that's true for just about anything you want to accomplish, though, come to think of it.
davidbcoe
Jul. 7th, 2008 06:58 pm (UTC)
Agreed, Mark. To succeed in any meaningful way you must risk failure. Thanks for the comment.
bevhale
Jul. 7th, 2008 02:44 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reminding me that we all hit this. I'm at the 2/3 through a novel stage and I spent all weekend deciding that I suck as a writer. You may have just saved my sanity. I owe you a drink. Will you be at WorldCon?
davidbcoe
Jul. 7th, 2008 06:59 pm (UTC)
Yuck! That 2/3 point trips me up with every book, and I'm getting very close to it with the WIP.

Yes, I'll be at WorldCon. Looking forward to seeing you there.

Thanks for the comment, Bev. Glad I could help.
bevhale
Jul. 7th, 2008 07:10 pm (UTC)
Good. I'll see you there. And I still owe you a drink.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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