Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Weirdo Writer Insecure About...Readers? #IWSG



Welcome, Insecure Writers Support Group friends! I love this amazing group, which was formed by the awesomely fantastic Alex J. Cavanaugh. If you'd like to join, click here. Your insecure writer self will thank you for it!

This month, as I prepare to release my YA novel, I'm insecure about...Readers.

But wait. We're writers, right? What is our goal? Readers! How in the heck can it be that I'm insecure about that? I mean, having readers is what we want most. It's what we strive for. It's the end game.

I'll tell you why I'm insecure about Readers. Because I'm insecure about what they'll think. Will they like my story? Hate it? Will they be inspired by my words? Roll their eyes? What? WHAT?

Here's the deal: I know my stories will not be loved by everyone who reads them. I know that some readers will give me a shot, but will be disappointed. What else do I know? There will be someone out there who connects. Someone out there who will be inspired. Someone out there who will come back for more.

Stories can't please everyone. We've seen examples of one star ratings for favorites such as The Help, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Hunger Games. Thankfully, those authors wrote the stories within them, without censoring themselves based on this fear.

As author Kurt Vonnegut said, "Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia."

Let's write the stories within us. If it's a story we love, there is someone out there who will love it, too. We shouldn't fear Readers. We should embrace them and their outspoken opinions, even if their opinions don't work in our favor.

Do you share this fear? Have you overcome it? Have you ever let this fear alter your writing? Please share!

38 comments:

  1. Amen, Julie. This is such a wise post.

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    1. Karen, there's only so much we can do, right?

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  2. That's all we can do! Write the story that only we can tell. We have no control over how readers will react! That is the scary terrifying part!

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    1. Laura, it really is scary. I'd imagine you indie veterans have already learned to handle all of this. I'll get there!

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  3. That's right - it's not the ones who don't connect, it's the ones who do that matter.

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    1. Alex, so true...focus on those and not the rest!

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  4. I too share this fear Julie, but we have to put it out of our mind and not let it worry us too much.

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    1. Rachna, so true. And we can't let it make us fear releasing the next book! Probably easier said than done :)

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  5. I have this fear off and on, too, and your way of viewing it is so positive! I try to remind myself over and over when those thoughts come up that those who matter are those who connect!

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    1. Ashley, so true. Like, there are so many books that I love that others don't, and vice versa. No book will please everyone! Tough to remember, though, when the book is our own!

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  6. Worrying about what readers will think is a good thing! Means your invested and care about what you've created. Just don't worry so much you quit working on your next story. :D

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    1. EJ, you've nailed it. That's one piece of great advice that Susan Kaye Quinn shares in her Indie Survival Guide. Do the best you can, then write the next book.

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  7. From what I hear, this worry is true for all writers, no matter how many books they've published. It's scary putting a piece of you out into the world! But worry won't get you anywhere. Celebrate this moment, graciously thank the reviewers, ignore any negativity, focus on the positive, and keep writing your next book!

    Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

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  8. Sounds like you have a really good attitude toward this. Everyone is scared of this, but we could never write a story everyone would love.

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    1. So true, Natalie. Like, I love Nicholas Sparks novels, but not everyone does. And so many people love books I'd never read. They aren't bad, they just aren't for me.

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  9. Excellent quote! When I got my first one-star review, I checked a famous book that I loved and read their one-stars also. Man Alive, that helped!

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    1. Ok, THAT is a brilliant strategy. I'll have to remember that when I get a one star!

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  10. I think everyone feels this . . . no choice but to take a big gulp and leap into the pool.

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    1. Kittie...definitely! *plugs nose and dives in*

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  11. That's a great quote. And it's good to develop a thicker skin. I'll get working on that. ;)

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  12. I teared up at your comment "Let's write stories within us." I honestly don't think I could write any other way. I believe the 'us' or 'me' within each work of fiction (and even nonfiction) is what makes writing unique.

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    1. Sheri, absolutely. Just like I can recognize a Jodi Picoult novel or a Nicholas Sparks novel, because of the "them" in their books. I'm so glad they didn't try to be someone else! A "Sheri" book is a "Sheri" book, and no one can take that away.

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  13. Yes. I totally share this fear. Love the quote. So true. It's what keeps me going.

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    1. Elizabeth, that's what I love about this community. It reminds us that we aren't alone with our wacky fears!

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  14. I think it's natural to feel anxious about readers, especially considering some of the negative reviews on Amazon that some people post about other authors' works. (Honestly, some of those reviewers are really mean.) But I like what you said, about how there will always be someone who will love your work if you love it; I think that's definitely true.

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    1. I agree with you. I wish more people would follow Mom's advice: If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. It sure would save a lot of pain, yes?

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  15. Great quote--I hadn't seen that one before! I think you're right--if we write a story that is true to ourselves, it will connect with someone.

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    1. Lara, even reaching a few readers is a worthy goal!

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  16. Oh, I hear you! I love your positive take on it.

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  17. It's why we have to grow that thick skin.

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    1. Karen, I'm still working on that! It's getting thicker and thicker with each critique :)

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  18. Oh yes, I think this is a totally normal (and pervasive) writerly fear. We get more used to the negatives, and try to focus on the positive influences, though.

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    1. Carol, totally true. I've heard of famous authors who were frustrated with readers who didn't like their work.

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  19. This is so true--I'm there now--really worried what someone will think of my writing. Thank you for this!

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    1. Terri, I know how you feel! But we'll be ok :)

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