Skip to main content

Have faith in your work.

I have come to the most unsettling realization that I am apologetic about my work. I see a positive five star review and I'm thrilled, but deep down those never feel real. Then I read a one or two star and I nod along to the review. "Yes, it IS choppy." "Yes, I should have had Ari do X or Y or Z." "Yes, damn, I wish I could have fixed that."

See, I hate one and two star reviews, but it's not because they make me mad. They make me sad for the reader. I hate that I didn't produce something that he or she enjoyed. I hate that they feel their time was wasted. But I can't control whether or not that person enjoys my books. See, I am not one of those writers that ever wants to lash out at a reviewer, good or bad, because I tend to think my books are still unfinished. And the truth is, they are.

We are put on extreme deadlines in publishing. This means that I may have two weeks to edit something that should take two months. I may have hours to review copyedits, when I need days. The entire process is so intense that when I finally click send to my editor I close my eyes and I never allow myself to look at the book again.

But that stops now.

I am fortunate to be published, but the truth is, I am still learning. Yes, I said it. I am still learning. And if you're a writer, it's okay that you say it, too. I am sickly jealous of those that do it perfectly the first time, but that isn't me. Sorry. BUT I have learned (see I used that word again) that with each book I get better. The plotting is better. The characters are better. The writing is better. And I hope I forever feel that I need to learn. It keeps me grounded.

Last week my publisher put the title "Bestselling" before GRAVITY, and my publicist said from now on I could put "Bestselling Author" before my name. So what does that mean exactly? It means that while I am still learning, there are people out there enjoying my books. MY books. So, for them, I am going to stop apologizing for my work. I am going to be proud and have faith in myself. And I hope you will read this and find the will to have faith in yourself, too.


Writerly love your way,

Melissa

Comments

  1. I so needed to read this today. Thank you for your honesty. It's encouraging to fellow authors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so glad this post made you feel better today. It was difficult to write, but something I think we all need to hear from time to time.

      Delete
  2. I just want to say that I love your book! 'Gravity' is amazing and I loved every second I spent reading it.

    Now obviously your book(s) won't be for everyone that's just how it is. There's no such thing as a perfect book (in my opinion) and we as readers will always wish one or two things happened differently but this is YOUR book and YOUR story to tell, we just have to trust your judgement.

    I think it's great that you're still learning and are in fact still WILLING to learn new things to improve yourself/your work in the future but please don't try to please us all. Because then you'll end up writing the book you THINK we want to read instead of the book YOU want us to read.

    P.S. Ari rocks! she's so cool and I cannot wait to learn more about her in book 2 and you're an amazing Author so please don't apologize for your work. ever. It's fantastic just the way it is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, you just made me cry. :) Thank you. I'm so glad you're enjoying the series. You are very wise to say that we, as authors, cannot please everyone. We can't. And at some point, we just have to tell the story that's in us and hope it finds a home. I'm so thrilled that my books have made their way to you!!

      Delete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Lovely honest post! I agree that we're all still learning, and we need to be honest with ourselves about it but not over the top judgmental about our work. Which is what I tend to do. Anyway, thanks for posting, and I think your book is great! Looking forward to the next one.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Melissa,
    You are amazing, and I truly mean that from the bottom of my heart. I adore your books. Ever since I finished the first chapter of Gravity I was hooked. You can't please everyone. Reading is so incredibly subjective and not everybody is going to enjoy the same thing. But... And I think you know this by now... You are amazing to me! You are one of my favourite authors in the world and I will religiously read everything you come up with... Because to me you are incredible! Right from when I first started reading Gravity I was blown away by your world building, character building, incredibly writing style and amazing creativity to write such a fantastic and heart-stoppingly phenomenal book.

    I know that you will get better and better the more you write because everybody improves with practice no matter what they do. But to me, and I'm sure plenty of others too, you were already fantastic to start with so that means when you do get better, you're going to be phenomenal and unstoppable.

    I heart you so much

    Kayleigh

    ReplyDelete
  7. STOP reading anything below a four - works wonders! :) Anyway - I just came by to grab some graphics and saw this... and I do the same thing. So there you go. You're completely normal. <3

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm so happy for your "Best seller" status! You've worked so hard and deserve it.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Pitch Wars 2017 Wishlist!

Hi! How are you? Excited? Nervous? Hating your MS? Loving your MS? Yep, I get it. Been there, have the wrinkles to prove it. But that's what retinoids are for, and besides--

Wait, let me back up and do this introduction thing properly. And, you know, by "properly" I mean Hart of Dixie style.


So, you're probably wondering who I am and why I think I'm a rockstar, when I'm just a brand new little newbie mentor. Well, here's the thing--I'm not really one of those "I think I'm a rockstar" kind of people, so we won't be going there. Sorry. BUT I can tell you who I am. Here goes.

OFFICIAL, PRETTY BIO:

USA TODAY bestselling author Melissa West is the author of more than fifteen novels, each set in the South and ready to steal a reader’s heart with Southern charm, sweet tea, and a whole mess of gossip. Her novels have received high praise and recognition from RT Book Reviews, Seventeen Magazine, Fresh Fiction, and Harlequin Junkie, among others…

GRAVITY e-book is Now Available!

Exciting news!

GRAVITY did have a book birthday yesterday after all—well technically today. It is now available in both Kindle and Nook formats! And check out these amazing blurbs for the book: "A thrilling debut packed with action and mystery. Aliens never looked so good."
USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout.


"GRAVITY is a nonstop action thrill ride set in a richly imagined sci-fi version of earth, featuring a bold heroine who knows how to fight, just not who she should be fighting for. Start reading and you won't. Ever. Stop." Jennifer Bosworth, author of Struck (FSG/Macmillan)
~~~ The print version will be available online and in stores within a few weeks. But to celebrate the release of the e-book, I need your help to spread the word! And I have a few prizes available for participating.
Ways to play:
Tweet that the e-book is now available with links to GRAVITY’s Kindle and Nook e-books on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Must use hashtag #…

Make your readers uncomfortable

I have this one scene in TWISTED ROOT that is…intense. It is so intense that I’ve had reactions all over the place from my CP’s and betas.

Let me start by saying I have a ton of people read my work. An 8 person crit group, 2 crit partners, and 2 that I would say are alpha readers—friends who read tons and have strong editing backgrounds.

So I receive crits all over the place, and this scene has created some interesting responses. One critter went crazy for it, loved it. Another referred to it as slightly icky. I loved that response. :) Another blushed when we discussed it in person. And all of the male critters I have thought it was awesome—go figure. Men have a much higher threshold for uncomfortable-ness, than most women. (JMHO!!!)

Now I’m not saying I don’t adore all my readers. I do. I couldn’t write without them. Each one makes my work stronger. But here’s the thing, I’m keeping the scene, as it is (for now). Wanna know why?

I think as a writer you should make your reader uncomfortab…