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.
5 thoughts on “A Lesson in Real Time”
Negative responses do say more about those who wrote them than they do about their analysis and evaluation.
My theory is to let go of the things you can’t change. I encourage you to focus on those critiques that are authentic and helpful – written with the best of intentions. Try to delete mean spirited comments from your thoughts. They just drag you down!
Yes, I have done that. It took me a while though because it was quite unexpected and my book is very personal. We live in a world where the negative has become the norm I think with Twitter and all of that.
Sharon, if you get this it means I can finally push the right button to reply! Since I only use email and read only one blog, Ashley’s theoliveandthesea.com, not too savy…so glad that you will now publish the book. Since I have no idea what it is about, I can imagine from what you said there must be a lot about BKK and Pakistan in there….being honest about those experiences can certainly be misunderstood or misconstrued as I have found when trying to relate what we experienced…it dawned on me that we’re probably one of the few other couples who have lived a very similar life to yours….both North American and all….send me the link when it is published! Barbara
Yes, you have absolutely pushed the right button! Thanks for your comments. It took me a while to push through the negatives and then realized that everyone is going to have their own take on the book. Hopefully some will identify with my experiences. The publishing part might be a long journey. We will see what happens in the new year. Will keep you posted.
Hi Sharon, sorry I didn’t get to read this blog entry until today…busy away during the holidays. I’m glad you wrote about this for several reasons: 1. you’ve gotten past the challenge of accepting/understanding/whatever other people’s comments; 2. you’re blogging again!
Keep up the writing and the blogging.
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