My dream has always been to write, to become successful, to have people anticipating my next book. The worst way to go into writing is to hope that you’ll become a millionaire and that your book will turn into a movie, but I think that a thought in the back of every writer’s mind is “how will I make a comfortable living off of my talent?”
I’ve come to the conclusion that it is okay to worry about financial stability when being a writer. For writers, being successful is a hit or miss because you want good criticism, but you know you might have to face some bad criticism. You have to face other people hating your work. You face loss of self confidence in your work, especially if it’s not good enough for readers. I think there are some readers out there who are too critical. Listen, no writer is perfect. No writer is like another writer. Everyone is different and everyone has a different style. I respect reviews, but I also think reviewers who are so critical to the point of hating (unless there is problematic criteria such as the fifty shades books which should be criticized) than it may hurt the writer’s future potential.
As a writer myself, I’ve never really published anything for public consumption because I’m so damn scared of it being ripped apart by reviewers. I’m so damn scared of people finding one error, or one oddly worded sentence that makes the reviewer trash the entire novel. When you spend months and or years on creating something from your imagination and than you see that a lot of people hate it, it is an awful feeling. I haven’t felt rejection to that level, but I know it is a terrible feeling because it can ruin an authors credibility to have so many bad reviews, to the point where people won’t even read another book by them even if they have improved. I’ve heard of authors having to change their names just to sell their books or get people interested.
The more I write my novel, the more I put into it, the more possessive I am. The more afraid I become of showing my work, my art, to people outside of myself. Writing is so vulnerable even when you aren’t writing about yourself because it reveals your talents, your flaws, and how creative you can be. In Spring 2015, I entered my short story for a writing competition at my school and I won. I had to read it in front of people when I was accepting my little award at William Paterson University. The whole process scared me so much to the point that I almost didn’t enter. I almost gave up before giving myself a chance.
I’m so glad I didn’t give up, but even with that win, I still fear what reviewers might say about my work. I am a reviewer, but harsh criticism is terrifying and I think it is stunting my novel writing process. It causes me to procrastinate writing because what if it is terrible? What if I’m a horrible, shitty writer? What if I’m not good enough to be a writer for a living? Where do I go after that? Writing is all I know.