Friday, March 9, 2007

American Idol and the Woes of Writing

Actually I've never watched an entire episode of American Idol, but I know from the commercials that Simon Cowell, is that his name? is not someone I would want for a best friend or even as my worst enemy. But if you're going to be a writer, then developing a thick skin is essential. Not everyone is going to like what you write. Don't lose hope if you get the kind of stinging rejection that I got this week from a local publisher's advanced reader. Let's just say this reader would make Simon seem like a nice guy. So what do you do? Tear up the entire novel and start over--maybe--but not so fast. Ask a trusted writer friend to read what you've written. Do they say some of the same things? If so then a rewrite may be in order. On the other hand, eventually you have to trust your instincts. So what do you do when you get a rejection, or a nasty review? All of my author friends recommend chocolate, but that isn't my favorite thing. Besides chocolate gives me a headache. There is the option of drinking, but then I'm LDS (Mormon) and we don't drink or do drugs either, so the best I can come up with is a fresh box of Good and Plentys and to take a long walk with your favorite friend. Your friend has to be the kind of person who tells you how great you are. Then go back and read some positive feedback and perhaps even some fan mail. Yes, I do have a few letters from people I've never even met--people who took time out of their lives to write to me and say--"I loved your book," or "I couldn't put A Question of Trust" down," or some other such thing.
On good days I love to write, but when someone tells me I should "put my book in a drawer until I can fall out of love with it and then rewrite it from top to bottom," and that's just the line I'm not too embarrassed to enter here folks, then I wish . . . I had an escape. But then I do live in Paradise and refreshment and renewal is right outside my window.


Tristi Pinkston said...

Great looking blog, Carole!

Josi said...

Welcome to the world of blogging and great advice on going back to the good stuff. I redid all my files last night and felt like JK Rowling after reading through the notes I've recieved over the years--really gave me a boost.