It’s hard to tell people you’re a writer or that you want to be a writer. In terms of a career choice, writing is a tough one. Although you put a lot of time and effort into your craft, sometimes the pay out is small. And a long time coming.
I finished my final draft of Madness early in the week. I’m sure there’s probably a few grammatical errors I missed, so I’m having someone comb it over to make sure it’s okay. As far as I’m concerned though, I can now get the publishing/copyrighting ball going. I can at least start making some decisions and doing research on marketing and the self publisher I want to use.
Even though I’m excited about what I’ve accomplished, I still feel at odds when it comes to talking about the plot. The subject matter may make some people uncomfortable. After all, rape, war and PTSD are very touchy subjects for some. I don’t think I’m doing it right.
It’s also a bit nerve wrecking because a.) I don’t think I’m doing it right and b.) people tend to stomp on your dreams. What can I say? Some people are soul crushing
With that being said, I encountered my first skeptic/naysayer yesterday. I was talking to a friend/coworker about Madness when another person asked about the plot. My heart was racing and I may have flinched a little as I waited for that thoughtful, sideways head tilt people give me when I tell them the basics. A rape victim and a Iraqi veteran help each other deal with PTSD. I got the thoughtful sideways head tilt I was expecting followed by a “Cool. But that plot is really overdone. I think that’s a movie. Does she sleep with the brother like in that Jake Gyllenhaal movie?” That’s not exactly what he said, but that was the gist. Ouch. My ego was slightly bruised, but still in tact.
He asked if it has a happy ending. I say yes. He tells me happy endings don’t sell well. And to think Walt Disney built an empire on them. My ego was completely deflated.
This isn’t the first time I’ve received criticism over something I wrote. It isn’t the first time I’ve heard criticism about Madness. I posted the links to the two teaser chapters on Facebook so my friends and family there could see. A friend of mine told me it wasn’t bad, but not something he would read. And I was completely okay with that. But this stinging rejection from someone who is practically a stranger hurt.
I thought about it half of the day. It really made me second guess myself, but thanks to my fellow writer friends I realized you can’t please everyone. All that matters is what I think. Negativity only breeds negativity.
Besides, I had the balls to write a book. What’s he doing that’s so special?