Let us be honest with ourselves; as authors we seek validation from others. We need people to read our books and tell us they loved them. If they say that hated them, it hurts us. So how do we seek validation without becoming obsessed? Here are a few tips to help you.
1. Know that you cannot please everyone. Even the books on the bestseller lists get negative reviews. There will be people who don’t like your genre, your style, or the fact you mention God. However, there will people who love your book for those same reasons.
2. Give the book to some friends first. Tell them you are learning and would like their opinions but can’t take harsh ones yet. Your friends will often respect that and you will learn to take some criticism, along with the good things they have to say about your book.
3. It is okay to give the book to people you know will like it. Family member s and friends who will like it no matter what can help boost your confidence and make taking the criticism better.
4. There are some days that you should never try to read what others are saying about your story. Make sure that you are emotionally ready to handle it.
5. Know that as long as you are honor God in your story (this does not mean it has t be preachy) He is pleased with you work.
Toward the end of C.S. Lewis The Last Battle the characters repeat the phrase ‘further up, further in’ several times. Us writers should make this our motto. We should always be moving to a higher level of writing and deeper into our characters.
At times we get discouraged at our writing. We read something we have written and we feel like tossing it out the window or deleting it off our computer. We read someone else’s work and realize that we just aren’t as good; our work doesn’t meet our own expectations for it. Those are times that we need to realize that we are on a journey and we are working ever up, ever in.
It not only takes time to write (like we talked about last week) it takes perseverance for the journey from where are story is to where we want it to be. Sometimes we have to struggle to push the stories quality upward. Sometimes we need help, but don’t give up. You can do this! You just have to keep moving further up and further in.
Sometimes our characters feel flat and lifeless. That is when we have to move deeper in. We have to discover who they are at the core of their beings. What is their biggest fear in life? What has been their greatest victory? We have to move further up, further in.
Do you feel ready to tackle you story again? I know I am. I plan to work hard to make my story even better. When I get discouraged, I will just remember to keep going…
Further Up, Further In.