I Am the Walrus. Goo Goo G’joob.

You are a writer.

You put your heart and soul into your work only to have it ripped out by critics.  People won’t always love your work.  They won’t even always like your work.  Heck, some of them won’t even be bothered to click the “Like” button on your blog, which we know doesn’t necessarily mean, “I really admire what you said,” but in social network circles, it can actually simply mean, “I acknowledge that you said something, and as your friend, I support you.”

Sometimes your friends will go out of their way to avoid you just so they don’t have to hear about the plot of your new work in progress.  Some of them won’t even be bothered to Like your Facebook page and pretend to be supportive.  Sadly, you may even run into people who seem to go out of their way to tell you just how much you suck.

You’re going to get a lot more rejections than you ever thought possible, and most of them will be in the form of a form letter.  The agents likely didn’t read more than a couple of sentences of your work, and they didn’t even bother to write your name on the note to personalize it before they told you that your work is not good enough.

But even when you’re hit with the selfishness, thoughtlessness, carelessness, self-centeredness, and harshness of others, do not stop writing.  You can’t stop!  You have to remember that their opinions are only that – opinions.

Good reviews, even though they may be negative, deliver the blow between two compliments.  As a matter of fact, book reviewers are judged almost as harshly as authors.  Constructive criticism should actually be constructive.  If the person criticizing your work doesn’t have anything positive to say or doesn’t guide you on the path to improvement, then you need to learn to let their words go in one ear and out the other.  If they do say something useful, pick that part out, and make it work for you.  But throw the hurtful comments away.  They could very well only be saying what they say because that’s the “in thing” right now.  And what’s in today can just as easily be out tomorrow.

Have faith in your work.  Have faith in you!

Sheep follow the lead sheep blindly to the slaughtering block.  They will literally willingly walk up and allow themselves to be killed.  Lions don’t follow anyone.  They lead.  Remember, lions don’t lose sleep over the opinions of sheep.  Rawwr!

So, even though I seriously love John Lennon, I am not the eggman.  We are not the eggmen.  I am not the walrus.  I am a lion, and you should be, too. Goo Goo G’joob.

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50 thoughts on “I Am the Walrus. Goo Goo G’joob.

  1. I needed this post today. Criticism is probably what holds me back most of the time. But deep inside, I’m a writer, and it should not matter. When I allow those opinions to matter and not get these words out, two things happen. One, the words poison up inside me and two, the one person it might make the difference to doesn’t get the message intended. There might be a third, I never get to be a better writer if I don’t write. Your poster is everything! Thanks for sharing.

  2. I needed to read this. I feel so depressed as a writer because of these very things. I have a manager and in my mind, my work is just sitting. No one is reading it because he’s not getting back to me. But, I heard a friend say he thought my work was graphic. Does that mean it’s not sellable or pitchable? Stephen King is one of the best graphic writers there is and he sold Carrie for $400,000.00. Sure, I like to go into detail when I write but SO what! I’ve gon on a sabbatical from Fb and deleted my page. I can reactivate at anytime, but I don’t know, the site seem to be hindering than really helping me as a writer. Plus, I have some other personal things going on, but I think I will try to focus on my blog more and LinkedIn. There groups are great!

  3. Thanks, I needed that. I sold an essay last month and, for some reason, felt depressed over it. Does that happen to you? When I look at my thick file of rejections, I think, well, at least I’m in the game. I read somewhere that writers write for the same reason that lonely wolves howl–they’re trying to connect.

  4. I totally agree, Rachel. Depressingly too many writers don’t even try to send their work out, or even to finish it – that’s according to my creative writing tutor who says a fraction of her students actually get round to finishing their novel. SD

  5. And then there are the trolls who shoot snarky remarks, when their own work is littered with elementary spelling, grammar and punctuation errors. Some folks just aren’t happy unless everyone else is unhappy.

    BTW, I hope I haven’t hurt anyone’s feelings by forgetting to “like.” I’m in late middle-age, and I have a disease that eats brain cells, so if I manage just to comment on someone’s blog, that person can assume I “liked” it (although that doesn’t help with some kinds of stats).

  6. Hi, I’m sending you this note because you’re a follower on my blog. I’ve ended my blog, The Siren’s Tale + started a new blog named: Belong With Wildflowers. I’d love to have you follow my new blog as well, please stop on over for a visit: http://belongwithwildflowers.com 🙂

    You can follow my new blog through email subscription, RSS, Bloglovin’, or any other blog reader. Hope you’re having a great week! –Caitlin

  7. So true Rachel! As a writer, and really a creator of anything, there will always be criticism and someone will not like what you create, but at the end of the day there is always someone who will and the focus should be on those who support you. Most criticism in the realm of writing should be taken with a grain of salt 🙂

  8. Great post – most interesting muse into the workings of the mind in the face of the indifference of some. I’d never really thought about the subject yet this post has made me think and that is a good thing.

    • Well, thank you, Sir Mike. I love when I can make someone as intelligent as you think. Yeah, one definitely can’t have a thin skin as a writer, or any kind of artist, really. 🙂

      • I worked out how I missed it. My ‘Blogs I follow’ reader is presently letting me scroll back 4 hours then it leaves a gap and jumps to 1 day old posts. Why do they do that?

      • 😦 That stinks! Yeah, I don’t know how this reader thing works either. It also won’t let me look at comments more than a day old.

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