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Posts Tagged ‘Someone Like You’

I’ve produced over 1,000,000 words of fiction. I am in the middle of getting my books out there and after a few months of figuring out this whole self-pubbing thing, I have a few short stories out and two novels, “The Path Home” and “Life, Love and the Pursuit of Chocolate.”

Aside from one high school creative writing class, I’ve never had any lessons on writing. While I understand basic concepts of grammar, (I wouldn’t have gotten out of grad school without it!) my editors will still tell you that I am still prone to writing mistakes such as run-on sentences, misunderstanding semicolons, overusing the same descriptor on the same page, and other English 101 concepts.

Each of my books went through about five beta readers and then two editors (I found out too late that the first editor wasn’t good). I’ve written so long in a coffee shop that the workers have been hired and retired during one of my writing marathons.

My point is I’ve tried really hard. That of course, doesn’t mean anything because as any writer will tell you, we all do our best. It’s kind of like the husband that complains to his wife that he did the dishes and laundry for the last week and he wants to know where his extra desserts are. She replies that baby, when you’ve done it for ten years, then we can talk.

Readers don’t give out A for efforts. They give out money for damn good writing.

As I am about to release two books in the next few weeks, part of me feels like taking a step back and saying, “holy cow, what if I’m not a good writer?” I mean, just because someone writes one book or a thousand novels, it doesn’t mean they are good at it.

I know some of my uncertainty is coming from the reactions to “The Girl in the Coffee Shop” which went free a few months ago. An accumulative 26 or so 1 star reviews is enough to knock the wind out of most writers, and I suppose I am not immune. I was getting a few nice reviews on Goodreads of my other story “Bed Green” so when those 1 stars came for “TGITCS” it made me rethink everything. Some of the complaints were that the story was to short (I struggled with this but as the old saying goes, when the story is over, it’s over, and for me, it was done) as well as poorly written (fair enough if a reader doesn’t like my style) and immature (I’ll be the first one to admit I like goofy humor, but I think some of the reviewers misunderstood and thought the first person narrator was sharing my personal views).

But the experience has forced questions into my mind. What if I am nothing more than a talentless actor in a play? Maybe I am the singer of the viral hit “Chocolate Rain” when I yearn to be Barry White. I am an X Factor castoff when I want nothing more to be that American Idol.

I first scraped pencil across paper when I was about 8 years old, in an attempt to write a good story. It probably sucked, but my mom, of course, would have loved it and said I did a good job had I shown it to her. What if things have never changed?

I know these feelings are partially because of those reviews but then again, I am in the middle of a one hour Adele “Someone Like You” songathon. Maybe I’m just a little sentimental at the moment because of the music. 😉

I write because I want to offer comfort and humor that a wonderful story can bring. I want thousands of people across the world to be able to sit back and get away from their lives for a few hours.

This isn’t a pity party and I am not asking for reassurance or advice. Don’t waste your time talking about how we all get 1 star reviews and so let’s pick the chin up. That’s not what this post is for. I’m just sharing some of my private feelings, and for those that know me, they understand that doesn’t happen very often. Maybe in the end, it is just a way to share with some of you that may be feeling the same way from time to time, that you are not alone.

But I’m going to keep writing, I am going to try and learn from my editors comments and even my critics.

I’ve embedded the song below should anyone want to take a trip down the sad lane with me.

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