Wow! My last blog post was October 26/18. Time has passed quickly but here I am back again on Boxing Day (the day after Christmas here in Canada). There are a few reasons that I haven’t blogged for so long but the biggest reason was something that really stopped me in my tracks.
My writing coach/editor and I sent out a draft copy of my book to selected readers. My take on this exercise was that they were supposed to provide comments that would facilitate me in improving what I had written. I waited quite some time for them to come back with comments even though they didn’t wish to follow the chapter by chapter formula that my editor had given them. They wanted to give general comments instead. Since they weren’t being paid for the task of reading my book we complied with this.
At any rate, the comments were sent to me around the end of October and I was shocked. The observations started out great–talking about the quality of my writing and different aspects that the readers really enjoyed. There were also comments that were very helpful, relating to additions that would enhance certain sections and areas where the readers wanted to know more.
But I was blind-sided by a number of remarks that delivered ‘punch in the gut’ negativity. The general feeling of those comments was that I had written a revenge book. I won’t go into the detail of these particular observations other than to say that some of them bordered on nasty in an ‘American Idol critique’ or an ‘anonymous Twitter‘ kind of way. I did not then and still don’t completely understand the ugliness of that.
It took me a long time to process this and I have finally come to the conclusion that everyone brings him or herself to a book. Obviously my book elicits strong visceral reactions for some. I guess that’s a good thing. But my story is definitely not a revenge story. It is a tale of struggle and transformation. There are negatives and positives in those pages and the readers will focus where there own personal perceptions take them.
I now have a final draft and will be sending excerpts out to agents (in order to find a publisher) in the new year. Once my book is available to the public I will be ready for all kinds of opinions and reactions. So far the consensus is that it is well-written and, if it’s controversial to some I guess that just makes it a better read.
It took me a few months to come to these conclusions but now I’m ready to forge ahead. Happy New Year to all.