I thought I'd get a lot of edits done this weekend but alas, I got very few. Which is completely frustrating. To be honest I've been in a little bit of a funk the last two days. I'm struggling with the edits to LSM, getting feedback from a lot of different people and of course there isn't much agreement on anything. So now I am stuck with the challenging task of deciding which feedback is worth embracing and which is worth tossing. Because lets be real, you can't please everyone and that is certainly not my objective. On the other hand, it is foolish to believe that your work cannot be improved upon. To be honest, I think it is one of the harder aspects of writing. Everyone has an opinion and some people are going to like your work and some people aren't.
So here I am at 1 in the morning, rambling on my blog because I am feeling not so good about the status of my novel. Wait, I should clarify. I love the book. And having the feedback of my peers has given me some insight which I know will only enhance the story and the likelihood that it will sell. I think I am simply disappointed that not everyone loves all of the characters as much as I do. Which perhaps is my fault. I'm not sure. It seems that I failed to do my job as a writer and provide them with opportunities to fall in love with the characters or sympathize with them or at least stop hating them. Annoyance and hatred I didn't expect. But then I think about some of the books I've purchased and hated. There are character's that I cannot stand, series that I have stopped reading because I didn't agree with a major plot point, (like killing off a beloved character). Certain things are not my style or preference, but plenty of other people love it. So in general does everyone but me hate the characters or is it a matter of preference. Are people just being nice to spare my feelings when secretly they don't like or get the characters either?
This is where I get into trouble and have to distance myself. This is also why I am writing this post. Because I, Missy Lynn Ryan, am a people pleaser. I like praise, recognition and will often ignore my own thoughts or feelings in order to receive the praise and approval of others. I've been doing it for many years. In fact, some of my earliest memories deal with me sacrificing my happiness and well-being in an effort to seek approval from someone else.
On the flip side, I am also incredibly harsh on myself. I put so much pressure on myself to be perfect that the fear of failure paralyzes my ability to move forward. I just finished watching the Oscars and am reminding myself that I am willingly choosing to be in a business that is full of criticism. That in itself is a huge risk. You have to have enough confidence in yourself to keep moving forward even when some people think you should walk away. You have to have a vision of who you are and what you want to become even if the end seems impossible to obtain. I know that I am not perfect and that is okay. I know that I am not defined by the thoughts and opinions of others, which if you can come to that point in your life, is an absolutely freeing moment.
That said, I am not posting this to whine about crits of my work that I don't understand or disagree with. I am posting this because I know there are other writers struggling with the exact same thoughts and emotions. As writers, we like to pretend that it is all so easy. Writing is hard. Rewriting is hard. Releasing your project for the world to see, judge, love or hate, is even harder. But you aren't alone and just as I am going to keep tweaking LSM and trying to get this book published, so should you follow your dream, no matter how far off it seems.
Peace out for now. I really need to try and sleep, or tomorrow I am going to be one cranky lady.