Because, I know how much love goes into what we do. How much work. Or sacrifice. Or time. Or all of those. I know that it’s easy for someone to come along and make comment on something they didn’t shed their blood and tears and sweat over, for that is what we do; we love talking about what we’ve read or seen or listened to—and frankly, the writer/artist/musician needs this, we do, for who wants to create our work in a vacuum where no one talks about it? We advertise it; we beg for your attention. We ask for it, and in the asking for it, we also set ourselves up for the ones who either shrug, or worse, who do not like us: Put your big panties on girls/boys and suck it up—that’s what we tell ourselves; we don’t care, we did what we love: that’s what we say; we stand by our work—and we mean it, however, in the dark, our brain swirls with it all, swirrllll swirrrrlllll swirrrrrllllllllll.
But even so, I was braced for it, waiting, worrying, my stomach in knots—it was affecting my ability to write the next novel–yes, worrying over something that hasn’t happened yet, craziness! My publishers, friends, and family finally said, “Stop this! Stop waiting for it and better yet, stop searching for reviews; stop going to Amazon and checking your ranking; stop stop stop—and just write the next book! Do what you love.” I stopped, I remembered why I do this—the love of language and words and my characters—the whole Thing of it all, this writing. The relief was palatable, to know I didn’t have to search and find every review and thank everyone for taking the time (well, actually, I want to thank everyone-very much so – because I am appreciative and grateful, but it is impossible to do it or else I’ll never get my work done – so I try to say it here on my blog, my gratitude), and thus worry I’d stumble across something that would rip my heart out.
We writers/actors/artists/musicians need love *laughing* – no really. We need all the support and love we can get, because it’s a lonely business, and a scary one, and incredibly subjective. And what other career is so publicly scrutinized (well, the President is, for one, a job publicly scritinzed)? Can you imagine going into your job knowing that thousands of people are watching you work? And if you make a mistake, thousands of people see it, and not only see it, go write about it in newspapers and blogs and websites? Can you imagine that? But we go into this with our eyes open, don’t we? Welllllll, sometimes. But sometimes maybe we aren’t quite prepared for all of it. Would I trade it away though? Nope—the roller coaster ride is scary as hell, but it’s also thrilling. Up and down and around and up up up up up uP UP UP UP UP, DOOWWWWWWWWWARGGHSAAIYEEEEEENNNNNNNNN, up up up up up up up, AROUND THE BEND _AIYEEEEEEE GET ME OFF OF THIS RIDE–AUGHHHHH…..oh, is it over? … let’s do it again!
Did I see too much of myself in Julie? Is that what really bothered me? That craving for attention at the risk of my friends and family and living my life outside of this fiction world I love so much? Coming to my blog or looking for those reviews or who has bought my book or what is my ranking on amazonmonster or or or, and thinking, “Do they love me? Am I loved? Am I Loved? AM I LOVED?” Or, perhaps I really just found the husband’s eating habits so annoying it tainted the other scenes (laughing! – growing up, my brothers knew my Achilles heel about smacking food; once they found out this, oh boy … smack smack smack –haw haw – sister’s getting mad!).
I feel this, well, responsibility now to be gentle with other writers (and other artists). And that is why I tossed around last night. Wishing I’d been more positive. The odds of anyone connected to any of the movies below coming by my blog and having their feelings hurt is about 1,0000000000000 to 1; however, it doesn’t matter, because I felt I’d somehow betrayed a fellow artist(s).
Here’s the way it is. Imagine one-hundred people reading a book, or watching a movie. Ninety of those people come away happy. They rave about the book/movie. They are grinning and excited. They write about it on their blogs, they tell their friends. Eight of those people thought it was okay. They enjoyed it all right, but it wasn’t the best thing they’d ever read/seen—they may or may not blog/tell friends, etcetera. Two of those people just did not like it, and they blog about it and tell their friends how disappointed they are. Now, who is right? All of them are right. Because it is a subjective, personal thing. It’s the business.
You simply cannot please everyone, my friends, so do what you love and do it the best you can and then sit back and pat yourself on the back: Well Done my friend. Good Job. You did it. Accomplishment should not be taken away from you by anyone. But put on your big girl panties and take it. I know what we lose, even while we gain. And it doesn’t matter whether you are famous, or not famous. The blood and sweet and tears that go into what we do leaves us a bag of bones sometimes. We love it, we need it, we crave it—but we pay for it, and so do the ones who love us.
That’s what I had to say this morning. I feel renewed and ready to get to work. Onward ho . . . WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE ride that roller coaster!
google images from: http://www.insidesocal.com/bargain/RollerCoaster.gif