Updated: Mar 27, 2021
As I write this I feel like a disclaimer is in order. I want to start by saying this isn’t a rant or a complaint. It’s meant to be a discussion or expression of events. It’s also not meant as a means to bash anyone. Okay, moving on.
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been keeping a lot of stuff bottled up. I haven’t known where to begin and I’ve found myself placing my time and focus elsewhere. In essence, I’ve been on the retreat.
I know in my posts I write a lot about pushing forward and fighting on, regardless of what happens and it’s absolutely true that you should. Still, I’m only human. While I try to be a wall, say that things don’t bother me, and keep pushing forward, inevitably I stumble.
These past two weeks, maybe longer (I’ve honestly lost track), I simply felt like everything I have been working for was pointless. While my rational mind says it’s not and is screaming, refusing to give up. My heart simply had nothing left.
It took a small voice to shout above the din and ask one simple question, “Where are your priorities,” for me to wake up. Sometimes when you get dragged down, that small voice is the knock on the head you need.
So, What happened?
I think any writer, struggling or not, will inevitably hear criticism. I mean it comes with the territory. There will always be people out there who won’t like our work for one reason or another.
As time goes on we develop a thick hide, smile and move on. We take what’s said and judge, as a friend of mine who passed away used to say: Is it a weight or is it a wing?
It was a phrase he used often. But he wasn’t wrong and sometimes, criticism is a wing in disguise. Other times, it’s like a stone hanging from your neck. It pulls you down and keeps you pinned in the dirt.
I’ve had critiques before. Some good and some bad. Of all the critiques I have ever heard, being told my books will never be worth reading was the hardest to hear. It wasn’t the only comment, and more followed after it, but I think that hurt the most.
It made me question what I had been doing all this time. Did I have it I have it all wrong? Was I totally mucking up on social media and putting people off? Was I totally oblivious?
So as I mentioned before, I slowly retreated and stopped engaging. I took a step back because, in all honesty, I felt like a joke. I mean being told you’re hated is rough, especially when you don’t really understand why.
My understanding of social media was to interact, promote, support and push yourself out there. Sometimes having a full-time job makes that difficult. Other times I just don’t get catch on to things.
So back to disclaimers: This is not a shameless attempt to garner sympathy.
So what happens now?
I don’t know if I really have the answer to that question. I do know that I will keep moving forward. I know and accept the fact that you can’t please everyone. I know I still have a lot more to learn about what I’m doing on social media.
As it stands, I know it’s going to be trial and error. I know I will probably and unintentionally upset people at times, but anyone who knows me will understand. I tell my friends all the time if I ever say or do something that bugs you, just say something. I may not always realize what I’ve done.
I can say that I’m very thankful for the connections I’ve made. There are so many good people on social media. Jaimie Routley @bionicanadian, Chris Jackson @Chrisajackson1, Peter James Martin @brennan_and_riz, to just name a few.
As far as publishing goes I’m still waiting for a yes or no from the publisher. I sent a full manuscript nearly 3 months ago. *Fingers crossed*
I do want to thank @greenwoodtales and @jm_brister for their review of Valkyrie. Even as my first draft and a work in progress, their comments have been very encouraging. They are both amazing people and you should totally follow them on Twitter. It’s because of them I’ve decided to self-publish Valkyrie.
Jess has recently begun offering editorial services at an affordable rate for struggling writers. She’s also a good friend, writer and has a crazy sense of humor. You can find her at https://jmbrister.blogspot.com.
For @greenwoodtales you can check out his site at https://anotherworldaudiobooks.wordpress.com. He does audio reads for authors to show off their work in order to help promote and draw more attention to them. I was really blown away by the trailer he did for Valkyrie.
In closing, I want to say this: Regardless of what you write or do, there will be critics. Most will not see you as a person and feel it is there duty to set you strait. The stone they carry are huge and won’t hesitate to use them. Regardless, you can’t let them stop you from moving forward and reaching for what you dream. If you do, I guarantee you will regret it for the rest of your life. Keep going, you got this!