So I have this friend and I love her dearly. We bonded over fanfiction and RP, and we have been friends for years and years and years, even though we have never once met in person and only have a vague idea of what each other looks like. She lives in another country and we’re not in a position to visit each other, really, not to mention we’re both awkward little introverts and what would we do in person without the buffer of a computer between us and the RP we play most every night?
Anyway, as I said, I love her dearly. We RP all the time, we share our writing with each other, we rec books to each other, and we’re working on a collaboration project that will hopefully go up online at some point in the future. But the thing about my friend is that she’s so close to me and so much in my heart that the littlest criticism from her stabs me deeply. She’s actually destroyed my will to even write stories with an offhand comment of dislike. I don’t think she does it on purpose—she’s blunt, not evil—but it weighs on me at times.
As I’ve gotten older I’ve gotten a lot better at taking crit and negative comments in stride, or at least with a healthy dose of sarcasm and a big ‘fuck you’. I’m one of those defensive writers, the ones who wail ‘you just don’t understaaaaaand’ when someone dislikes something I like in one of my stories. I want crit, I like crit, but let’s face it: I’m a writer and I have a fragile ego (not even getting into the mental problems I’ve talked briefly about here before).
It just bothers me, I suppose, that her first go-to is negativity. She’ll complain first, so all I really hear is, ‘This sucks and you suck’. Fair or not, I think it’s a common reaction among us ~sensitive~ artists. And it sticks in my head when I’m trying to write more of the story (because I post a lot of my work online at my website) and I suppose that right there is a good argument for writing your first draft with the door closed, as Stephen King says. It just doesn’t work well for me because part of my motivation is that I have other readers who are always encouraging, so it gives me something to work towards.
There’s probably no real point to this rant, it’s just a rant. But here’s as good a place as any to get it out, so as I said. I have a friend and I love her dearly. I just wish I could stop taking her criticism as an insult, and I wish she had a little more finesse.
So it looks like I may officially be a magazine writer soon. It’s only a volunteer position currently for a small magazine in my area, but it’s something to put on my resume/portfolio. And the editor seems super nice. She’s going to set up an e-mail interview for me with a local band so she can see how I do with it, and if it’s not absolutely horrible, the article will be run in the mag. I’ll link to it if it all goes through.
I have a massive ear infection that’s causing blood to leak out of my ear. :D
This is somewhat hampering my attempts to concentrate on writing. But I shall persevere, mostly because it’s not like I have anything better to do except maybe whine for sympathy.
3771 words so far and two chapters completed. Gotta aim for at least 5K today, preferably closer to 10K. And hope that my characters stop being puppets that I’m booting into place and start taking over.
Also, hello new followers! Welcome to my mess. I mean blog. Blog. Hope you enjoy your stay.
I write not only because the thought of not writing is like the thought of not breathing, but because it is a way for me to reach out to people. Every minute of glaring at a blank screen or piece of paper, every hour spent composing and writing and rewriting sentences, every day spent daydreaming, every single instant of work and sweat and tears is worth it for just one person to reach out to me and tell me, ‘I liked what you wrote.’
I write because when I get little messages from people saying, ‘You’re a good writer and you gave me so many feels,’ I get so giddy I grin like an idiot. I am just so pleased and so flattered every time someone tells me they like my writing, whether they’re a close friend or a casual acquaintance or a total stranger. They are telling me that I’m worth something and holy shit, they took time out of their busy day to sit down and compose me a message. Hell, I’ve had people thank me for writing, like I don’t thank my readers every goddamn day for showing my work even the tiniest bit of appreciation.
This is why writers get so adamant about wanting reviews instead of just likes or kudos or whatever. We want to know we touched you somehow. Even if you hated it. And if you liked it, oh lawd, it’s like steak to a starving man. You are validating all that work I put into something and I will never ever get enough of it.
So to all the readers out there, mine and everyone else’s, and everyone who has ever taken even 5 minutes to leave a comment or write a PM or e-mail or letter: I love you. Thank you.