The Blog Is a Terrible Thing to Waste
I haven't been feeling very witty of late. I keep hearkening back to the good old days--oh, say, about 4 or 5 months ago--when I actually had something interesting to say on this blog. Now it's all just degenerated into me alternately whining about stuff and posting quotes of the day.
So if I can't be witty, I'll try to at least be useful. A noble goal, right?
I was talking to a friend recently about audiences. She asked me who I show my work to when I'm excited about something I've written. First I had to remember if I ever get excited about anything I've written (I'm usually too busy berating myself to muster genuine excitement).
Then I realized, yes, I do sometimes write something that makes even jaded old me proud, but oddly, my first instinct is to hide it, not show anyone, because I don't want them to ruin my excitement with their opinions or lack thereof.
If you're an aspiring writer, one thing you may be finding out or will soon learn is that putting your work out there in the world can be brutal. Publishing is a business filled with rejection, revision, and criticism.
The external joys are fleeting, and sooner or later, it all comes down to you and the writing. When you write something that you love, savor it. Keep it to yourself for a while. Enjoy it the same way you would a delicious but tiny dessert that really isn't big enough to share.
The outside world can wait, because its reactions are unpredictable and rarely very useful when you're in the midst of writing. You have to remember that even if you're a brilliant writer, half the world will hate what you're writing, another 25 percent will be indifferent, and the final 25 percent might love it. Okay, so I just made up those numbers, but the point remains.
Your most important audience should be you, because when you've written something you truly love, you'll have the confidence to stand up for it through all the rejections. You'll believe in it enough to persevere. And the ones who persevere are the ones who sell.