Sunday, March 22, 2015

Resistance Is Futile(ie, Giving Up Work)

As I said not long ago, many writers are so fearful of their work being stolen that they guard it the way a dragon guards treasure.  However, anyone who truly loves writing, anyone who wants one day for his or her stories to be shared across the world, finds the lure of readers too tempting to pass up for very long.

I get excited when I start talking about my novels.  I speak with my hands and try to set the stage with the tone of my voice.  Since I can be so passionate about it, I inevitably get people asking to read my stuff.  That's where both my excitement and my paranoia meet.

My paranoia is similar to other writers' paranoia in two regards.  First, and most irrationally, I fear that others will want it for themselves.  This is a purely emotional reaction and based in nothing resembling reality.  Second, and most childlike, I get worried that people will tell me I suck.

To be honest, most people are far too nice to come right out and say you stink.  They'll usually hem and haw, touting minor points to make you feel better while playing down major themes that you both know are central to the story.  If you can read between the lines, you can figure out what they're saying(ie, you suck).  Such things hurt.  For all my logical exterior, even I'm subject to a swift blow when it comes to my story.

However, there's always that spark of optimism as well.  Something wants me to give my stuff out to them with the hope they'll take to it.  This has happened with a couple of novels I've written, and it's gratifying.  When it does, a tiny voice in my head says, "Go ahead and give out something else.  Risk the hurt.  It'll be worth it."

Someone recently requested Wrongful Death.  The paranormal elements of the story caught this person's attention, and he all but begged me to give it to him for a look.  I resisted for a while, but I'm about to give in.  Oh, I'm not giving in completely - I'm only giving up the first three chapters and telling this person they can have more if he's interested, but deep down, a part of me wants him to come back the next day and demand the rest.

That's the hope we all cling to, that our work will grab someone with such force that the person simply must have more.  We want to know we've written a page turner.  It grants validation, and in the end, isn't that what this is all about?

No comments:

Post a Comment