29 November 2016

See You In The Funny Papers

I know I've already mentioned that I have a novella coming out in March, but this is the first time I've had a book contracted for publication before I was finished writing it.  And since I just finished a big, big round of edits, it's on my mind.

Over the last two weeks, I have asked myself repeatedly why I do this to myself.  Why write?  Why send my baby out into the world for other people to tear apart, or misunderstand, or attack me personally because of the writing I've done?  I love the craft of writing.  I love making a story that was alive only in my head become alive to someone else. I cannot say how many times I've given myself pep talks, saying that even if people aren't very nice about their "constructive criticism" it is useful to me by helping make me a better writer, helping my story become the best it can be.

Even still, keeping defensiveness under my metaphorical hat gets difficult sometimes.  I want to explain why my characters do things, and show people that I did explain it, or whatever the case may be.  But what my defensiveness is really showing is that I had it all worked out in my mind and didn't explain it well enough for the reader to understand.  And maybe it's just that one reader who didn't get it, but isn't that enough to reconsider the way I had it?  (That doesn't mean I change anything, per se, but I definitely consider it.)

I say all this calmly and rationally now.  Just don't talk to me about it directly after I hear someone tear apart my story.  Evidently, I go a little crazy and need several days of eating potato chips and bashing my head against tables before sense returns and I'm able to approach my story again with something that resembles willingness.

And then I found this comic, which is pretty much how I felt.

In my case, potato chips help get the green off.