Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thoughtful About . . . Confidence and Humility

Giveaway here - Deb Raney's Almost Forever

Giveaway of A Stray Drop of Blood - a special Mother's Day contest at Sunnybank Meandering includes my book and many other awesome prizes. Also, there's a really awesome interview and giveaway to correspond with the ACFW book club this month, by the book club coordinator Nora St. Laurent. Check it out at Finding Hope Through Fiction!

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So last week I read my first not-glowing feedback on A Stray Drop of Blood. It got me thinking.

A while ago I made the comment to my best friend that I was looking forward to my first negative review because it would make me a "real" author. It would mean my book was really getting out there, into hands other than my friends and acquaintances. Now, granted, this was a deliberately optimistic take on something I was obviously NOT really looking forward to.

And now I know why I wasn't looking forward to it. It's not fun to realize that someone doesn't like your book. It's hard to separate it from people not liking you.

The optimist in me still sees the bright side, which includes that this wasn't a full review and hasn't yet appeared but one place. The optimist also remembers all the glowing reviews I've gotten, all the encouragement, and the readers who disagreed with this mediocre rating where it was rated.

It's also a valuable lesson in both confidence and humility. We're told, as authors, not to believe our reviews, either the good or the bad, entirely. But to take criticism constructively and always strive to be better. Can we address that thing someone complained about in our next book? Can we do better on that score?

There's always room for improvement. No one book will be loved by all. I have to come to grips with the fact that even those in my target readership aren't necessarily going to love it. But I can't let that get me down. I have to take it and grow and be better.

The question is always how. And the answer is always Him. If I have any talent, it's from God. If I have any stories, they came from Him. If anyone is touched by my books, it's because He chose to speak to them.

Who am I to get upset because God has other ways of talking to some people? I'm just so, so grateful that He has blessed me with the commission to offer my hands, offer my words at all. Through my writing I've made friends, I've had epiphanies, I've grown closer to my God and my Savior. That in itself is reason enough to risk the negative.

5 comments:

  1. The answer is always Him. His will trumps everything and everyone else. Isn't it great that His plan for us is not dependent on anything someone else might decide for us?

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  2. It's so hard to put aside the opinions of others. I find myself struggling with that now with my WIP where I'm thinking of all the hot button issues that might not go over well.

    But you're right - the answer is always Him. If I write the story He inspires me to write, there's no losing.

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  3. I keep seeing this book and it catches my eye every time! It looks so intriguing and seems like it is a great story line. I'm so excited to read it! Please enter me in to win. Carmen sent me :) Thanks!

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  4. Great attitude, Roseanna. I'm dreading the negatives reviews that are sure to come. When they do, can I come to you and cry on your shoulder? I'll need you to remind me of all this. ;)

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  5. My shoulder will be available for you any time, April. And I'm also really good at respectfully disagreeing with negative reviews on my friends' books when they're posted somewhere that comments can be left. =)

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