it's a great life, if you don't weaken (matociquala) wrote,
it's a great life, if you don't weaken

how i learned to stop worrying and ignore the internet.

You there.

New writer.

Freshly-published debut author.

Get off tumblr, stop worrying about what people think, and go write your next book.

Okay look, I'm not saying that one should not consider thoughtful criticism of one's work, or that one should isolate one's self from the community. I'm not saying that criticism has no value. I'm not saying be an inconsiderate asshole.

Don't be an inconsiderate asshole. Or try not to: we all fail that one sometimes, too. And not just to our mothers.

I'm saying that there are people out there who want to make you write their book for them, and that's impossible, because nobody can write their book except for them. So when they start reading as if they are measuring every single book against the perfect book in their head, well--they will never find it.

Because as all writers know, the only way to get that book--the book that speaks with your own voice--is to write it.

And then fail, because every book is a failure in some way, even if only its author knows it.

They're never quite perfect, our creations, because writing is too hard to do well. Fail better next time. Let those other people write their own books.

If you haven't written a book yet, but nobody else is writing the books that say what you want said, well, you have exactly one option. And it's the same place every single published author started out, at one time or another.

There are no shortcuts. Use your voice.

So stop kicking yourself. Stop catering to someone else's ideal, and set your own. It'll probably still be unattainable, but it will be yours.

Stop trying to speak with somebody else's voice because that somebody told you your own voice was inadequate or uncommercial or wrong. Stop telling yourself that your work is garbage. Stop telling yourself that nobody else wants to hear what you have to say. Accept that there are people who will hear you wrong, and that that's not your problem, and you get to have boundaries as an artist.

You get to have boundaries, even as an artist on the internet.

You have a voice. One voice.

It's your voice.

Your voice is important.

Use it.
Tags: writing craft wank

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