Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Just Business


"That's the essential goal of the writer: you slice out a piece of yourself and slap it down on the desk in front of you. You try to put it on paper, try to describe it in a way that the reader can see and feel and touch. You paste all your nerve endings into it and then give it out to strangers who don't know you or understand you. And you will feel everything that happens to that story -- if they like it, if they hate it. Because no matter how you try to distance yourself from it, to some degree you feel that if they hate it, they hate you.
Which isn't the truth, you understand. At least you understand that in your head...but not always in your heart."
- Stephen Leigh
 

Remember that feedback is not usually personal--it's constructive; it's helpful; it's business. It's not personal.

And no matter what, remember that your book does not = YOU.

 Hang in there, 
keep writing, and 
work for that dream!

20 comments:

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Oh, so true. And no matter how much we understand this in our heads, our hearts refuse to let go. I swear, I have a mini-heart attack every time I see an email in my in-box with feedback on my work -- whether it's from a beta reader, my agent, my editor, or from the publicist with a professional review attached. And let's not get started on reader reviews ...

The most important thing is to get a grip, fix what you can, and keep going forward.

Jemi Fraser said...

So true. It's hard to have a piece of your heart and soul judged :)

Bish Denham said...

So true, but so hard. I mean I don't like everything I read, why should EVERYone LOVE what I write?

Old Kitty said...

Awww I'm like a mama defending her baby when he or she is returned with feedback! LOL!! Take care
x

Natalie Aguirre said...

So true but hard to remember when you're getting the hard news that someone doesn't like your manuscript or that it needs work or an agent isn't interested.

Jen Daiker said...

I needed you today. Rejection is tough. Not personal... just not right for you or the agent. Move on. There are plenty other fish in the sea.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

What a beautiful and inspiring post, Shannon.

I also have a hard time dealing with feedback when someone reads book I love by a friend of mine, and they don't love it as much as I did. Then I wonder what the critter's problem is. :D

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Well put darling!

Cherie Reich said...

I agree it's not personal, even though it can feel personal. It's good to be able to separate the two. That's why I often read through critiques/edits and put them aside for a few days to get perspective on what was said.

Jonathon Arntson said...

Great reminder, Shannon! We often talk about how we are steeling ourselves for the inevitable rejections. Instead, we should embrace the feedback and let ourselves grow (says the guy who is nowhere near querying).

Laurel Garver said...

Great reminder. This IS a business and some decisions are based far more on wider forces we have no control over (like Big-6 lists having only so many slots for particular kinds of stories).

brookerousseau said...

Thanks for the reminder. This is just part of being a writer, but it's certainly one of the most difficult parts.

Catherine Denton said...

That's an amazing quote! So hard to separate the two.

Heather said...

Though this is hard advice to take at times, it is excellent and so important! So true, for the most part rejection and critiques aren't usually personal.

Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

Well said! I find that sometimes I need to process feedback for a couple days to allow the emotions to fade away so I can see the comments with a more rational ( less taking-it-personally) eye.

Roxane B. Salonen said...

Great thoughts, as always, Shannon. So important, especially for us thin-skinned writers trying to pretend we're thick-skinned...because it's essential. :)

Meredith said...

I always feel better after taking a deep breath and reminding myself of this. Thanks, Shannon!

ali cross said...

I LOVE THIS! Thanks Shannon!

Carolyn V said...

So, so true! I hate when people forget that. ;)

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

Kitty makes me sad. :( But it's so true - take what works for you, and forget the rest! :)

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