Saturday, April 11, 2009

Why is it...

... that the mere knowledge that someone is going to read your writing can entirely change the way you feel about it???

I don't mean writing for an audience or the validation that comes with being published. I mean this:

I may have mentioned (100 times) that I am writing a chapter book and that I love love love everything about it. Frankly, I think it rules. I read it to myself and giggle. It is a full on narcissistic love affair with my own words.

"I have to share this," I thought to myself, even though it is unfinished. So I asked some trusted bookish friends to read the first three chapters.

"What will they say?" I asked myself as I composed the "do you have time to read this?" email, words like "hilarious" and "fantastic" and "best book ever" running through my head.

I got the first email back. "Yay!" it said. "Will read this weekend."

And despite all the confidence and the love and the brilliance, my first thought was,

"Oh no! I hope it doesn't suck. It does. It does suck. It is drivel and I'm mortified I sent it."

Sigh. Does this happen to anyone else?

19 comments:

Ello said...

yes - I am always a bundle of nerves when anyone reads my work. Always.

Hubba said...

Absolutely.
It helps not to think about it.

C.R. Evers said...

happens to me all the time. But I'm sure your MS is brilliant! You have no need to worry.

Jacqui said...

Ello, Hubba, and Christy: good to know it's not just me.

The follow up is that I wrote and said, "Is it crap?" and got what my friend said I could use as my first blurb:

"It's not crap."

Boni Ashburn said...

All. The. Time.

I have no solutions for you, but if you find one, please share :)

Boni

sruble said...

That totally happens to me, even more so since I don't have a critique group any more. It happens with my art too. It's been really hard to share this month, every day, but it's been good too. I think sometimes that just the act of sharing helps to separate us from how personal being creative is.

I hope everyone loves the book you're writing!! And even if they don't love it as much as you do, that's ok too. Not everyone knows brilliance when they see it ;)

Jacqui said...

Boni, I will let you know.

sruble, thanks. I will just tell myself anyone who doesn't love it isn't smart enough to get it. :)

J. Thorp said...

Of course -- I think terrible thoughts. (And I think even worse thoughts when Easter comes and goes and there is nothing close to a complete draft to share, as I had hoped.)

:(

But true blue writer-friends are *always* encouraging, right? Right!?

tammisauer said...

Dude, I am suffering from this condition right this very second.

Mary Witzl said...

I've sent off an ms I've been agonizing over for a LONG time. I've made it as good as it can be -- I really have. And I'm going through agonies right now, just thinking about how it might be received.

In a word, YES.

Elise Murphy said...

Yes, well, ahem . . . I can only send my work out in a blinding moment of hubris when I am certain I am the most beautiful, intelligent, all powerful being in the world. In other words, in a delusional moment. And then I want to snatch it back . . .

You are not alone.

Amber Lough said...

Well, DUH. It happens to everyone, each and every time. Unless you're one of those people at conferences who can't imagine that their work isn't brilliant and believes it should be picked up and published pronto. But who are those people, really? Fakers. Poseurs.

But you and I, and your other readers: we're real writers. We're not robots, as Laini would say.

Angela said...

This is SO true. But, this is a good thing in the sense that the pressure of knowing it will be read by another will make you strive to get it as perfect as you can before sending it out. For me, when I write something, Becaa always is the first to see it. Before I send it to her I go through it, thinking about what she'll think when she reads this or that. Most of the time I KNOW when I've written something poorly that she'll never let me get away with. And if I'm being stubborn and leave it as is, most times she'll mention that particular passage and say something was off there, LOL.

Jacqui said...

Thorp, as I have said before, with four kids, I am amazed you can spell your own name, but since you demanded a coach: no excuses! Get writing!

Tammi and Mary, I hope whoever has your work recognizes its genius!

Elise, exactly.

Amber, oh if only I had the writing ego some people have, the schlock I would press on the world!

Angela, true. Sometimes, though, I want someone to see something because I like it so much but I have no idea how it is; sharing it gives me distance.

Corey Schwartz said...

you are going to write a follow up and tell us what they said, aren't you?

Jacqui said...

Corey, after the "it's not crap" blurb, I got "Yeah. It's awesome." :)

Colorado Writer said...

I totally suck, yet have oodles of rejections that say how talented I am. *snort*

Candace Ryan said...

Yeah, it's called writer's remorse, just one more ailment our lot is afflicted with.

Here's to wishing you a speedy recovery!

cath c said...

i have a ton, seriously, a ton of volunteer critiqe-ers waiting for my complete draft. horrors. truly, i have nightmares! (well, only a little, but it's so much more fun when it sounds dire)but the self-esteem issue is the killer.