Over the weekend, I started the ‘Help Me Get into the SFWA!’ page that’s now on the menu above. I’m still a believer in Steve Jobs’ mantra: Real artists ship. Everyone has an idea, as this article points out, but real artists actually deliver, or ship, them. In space, no one can hear you suck. If I never try to sell my stuff, I’ll never get the kind of direct feedback I need to be a better writer.
But, whoa doggies, is it hard for me to put my stuff out there. Even a simple Reddit thread is enough to send my depression into overdrive. I’m determined to push on, though. I’m asking other YA writers how they deal with that kind of feedback.
This blog post took me three times as long as they usually do, as I’m constantly stripping out all references to ‘negativity.’ I asked for the feedback, I asked for my work to be supported. Logically, my skin needs to get thicker. The problem is, doing that makes me turn into the kind of person I’m trying to be better than. I’ve done this enough times in my life to know where that road will lead.
So I’ll sum this up by quoting from this blog post, which illustrates the challenge I’m facing: Good writing isn’t enough: “Pick the wrong publisher, agent, or editor and your book publishing experience will be completely different from someone else’s. Happen to have your book published in the midst of drama and same thing.
“Any one of those choices can sink an author or make their career. And it’s not always clear which choice is the right one to make at any given point in time. You can take the exact same book, make very different choices, and have completely different outcomes.
“We all makes our choices. Some of them the wrong ones. Some of them fatal ones–for that book or that pen name. (And some of them the exact right ones.)
“A good enough book is just the beginning.”