Thursday, July 8, 2010

Nobody Likes You or Your Writing

That's right.

Take it personally.

Have you seen this movie trailer?

Vampires Suck

No matter what you create, no matter how many people like it, probably even more people are not going to like it. They might make fun of it like this movie does (although I believe the entire thing is more of a marketing ploy and cash-creator than anything else). But even if people don't like what you create, that doesn't mean they don't like you. Or maybe they really don't like you, who knows.

Does it matter?

What will it take for you to feel successful?

Is publishing a prize to you? (It shouldn't be a prize. Please don't think of it as a prize. Ack!)

If you can't answer these questions, and if the title of my post offends you, you probably shouldn't be writing.


  1. I heard the Kurt Cobain knew Nirvana was a true success once Weird Al did a parody of "Smells Like Teen Spirit." Imitation is the greatest form of flattery ;-)

    If no one likes what you wrote, write something else. Then your odds are back up to 50/50.

  2. Here's something. I like Twilight, but I don't like Stephanie Meyer's writing or Stephanie Meyer. At all. How does that happen?

    Anyway - I'd feel successful if I could actually sit down and finish something. I'm always starting things. I'm working on something I REALLY like right now with characters that feel amazingly real to me and if I can conclude their story - no matter if no one else ever reads it - I'd feel pretty successful.

  3. If nobody likes me and my writing, I think I'll just stay home and drink vodka.

    Wait. I do that anyway.

    Crap, I may as well write while I'm at home drinking vodka. It makes me happy. Screw everyone else.


  4. If one person reads my work (even just for free), and enjoys it, then I consider myself successful. Since more than that have enjoyed my draft novels so far, I'm there. :-)

    Now if I can turn this into some sort of career, I'll feel even more successful...but really, I just want to entertain people.

    Of course not everyone will like what I write. Just like not everyone likes me personally. It's life.

  5. Rick: Oh, yes, I think imitation can be a great form of flattery. Depends on the imitation. :)

    HH: That's interesting that you like Twilight and not her writing. Why don't you like her?

    Yes, finishing something is a great success! That's half the battle for many writers, I think.

    Simon: That's the attitude. :)

    Jamie: A very real view on it all!

    Making a career out of writing is a nice goal, but it's not something I think I can aspire to yet since I stay at home and I'm trying to raise a child. Not ready for that time commitment yet. I hope you can get there eventually!

  6. What?? But, I thought everyone loved my writing. I mean they always give me such huge raves and tell me that I'm going all the way to the top. And, Mom and Dad would never lie to me!


  7. So true. We can't be everyone's cup of tea.

    *goes off to make Earl Grey, hot*

  8. That video is hilarious - that's a twilight movie I'll stand in line to see.

    You know you're a hit when they've made a parody of you or your work.

  9. Marisa: Yeah, there's lots of "not my cups of tea" out there, but that's great. If everything was to my taste I'd be drowning in books I want to read. I'm already drowning!

    Mary: True! What sucks, though, is people who aren't doing a parody, but just being plain mean in their declarations of dislike. I've seen that happen, too.

  10. You've definitely made it when people care enough to make fun. Think of all the creative juice used to make that parody--chihuahua, shirtless contracts! Too funny.

  11. I laughed at that trailer. Then I laughed again.

    "A Chihuahua?!?"

    Still laughing.

  12. Oh, and to restate the obvious, if you can't laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at?

  13. Sometimes I think the best writers end up being those with the least amount of confidence--people who question their own skill and so continually strive to make their work better. They can give up, or they can try harder. I vote for trying harder.

  14. Oh, Liza! You just gave me a truck load of hope, as I have no confidence! LOL {Well, I'm working on having at least a small amount so that I have the guts to actually do something ;) }

  15. @Michelle - There's something all together irritating about her. She's too smug. Too diva for someone who wrote something very entertaining, but not necessarily very good.

    @Liza - I agree! How many times does a friend/family member/stranger come up to you and start bragging that they write too and it's so good and you should really read my stuff??!! And then you read it out of obligation and it's just awful stuff. I find that if they want to talk to me about how great they think they are, they usually aren't.

  16. I'm with Jamie D.: I want someone to read my work and connect with it. Of course, it would be nice to have more than one person feel that way. It's more important to focus on the few who like your work than the many who are uninterested or dislike it.

  17. Re: great artists without self confidence, they say Sir Lawrence Olivier never got over stage fright.

    Re: the trailer--ROTFL! If Stephanie Meyers or RPatz or Lady Gaga or any member of the Chihuahua community takes offense at that, they have no sense of perspective. I agree with Kurt Cobain.

  18. I was intrigued, not offended, by the title.

    You've made a great point with this post.

    (@Rick -- That's funny because Weird Al once told me in an interview that he knew he was a success when they made him a character on The Simpsons.)

  19. Tricia: Haha, yes, but made it where? If I'm really honest with myself, I'm not sure I'd want that level of "success."

    Anthony: Haha, isn't it great!?

    Liza: I think that's very true. There's a difference between pride and confidence, though.

    Sandra: Oh, I agree with you all the way on that! Trying to convince the wrong audience that your work is good is a fruitless and dangerous endeavor. It will lead nowhere.

    Anne: Hahah! True. They'd better not take offense, or if they do, they're missing out. I'm still not sure I'd like a parody made of any of my work, though. I'm too sensitive. I'm sure I'd get over it. :)

    Kat: Glad you were intrigued!

  20. Okay, for the record I love the trailer for that movie. I liked the Twilight movies (so far anyway), but this one made my boys and I crack up big time. I do get what you're saying though :)

  21. You can't please everyone. I've already seen plenty of that in my long life. In writing, in art, in music. Not everyone loves Mozart or Monet or Austen. So what! A lot of people do and recognize their brilliance.

  22. I realized long ago that the type of fiction I wanted to write didn't really coincide with books that were popular. My goal lately is to try and find those readers that have similar tastes to me. Even if they are a small group, I think I would still feel satisfied if I was able to give them something they enjoyed reading.

  23. You can please some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time. You can't please all the people all the time.

    Me, I just want to please some of the people, some of the time.

    For me, success is getting published.

  24. Forest Gump - hated, hated the movie. I thought it was horrible. The critics raved about the movie. Everyone seemed to rave about the move. I was raving about the movie, just not in the same way.

    Subjective. Everything is subjective.

    So, no, it doesn't matter. Ha!

    It took me a while to reach this point in my life. Here I am. Not everybody is going to like what I write. Then again, not everybody is going to hate what I write. It's subjective.

    As for publishing, it's a bonus not a prize. Publication is, in some ways, a reward for some really hard work. Then again, isn't the end result of the writing a reward as well?

    As my 85 year old mother says "everyday I wake up is a success"! Sorry, Mom hasn't any filters left at 85. She just tells it like it is!

  25. Right on! We can't expect everyone to love our work. The important thing is that WE love it!

  26. FIrst of all I LOVE that trailer. I like stupid parodies like that. He he. I would consider it the highest compliment of my book were to be turned into something like that. Lets face it, that took effort.

    You're right. You can't please everyone. I always say, write what you love, what you'd want to read.

  27. @HH: I think there are multiple instances where the book may/may not be good the movie may/may not be better. Sometimes people have a really good idea for a book, but they're bad writers and then a good director gets of hold of it and makes a great film. Or vice/versa.

    One thing I keep hearing these days is that as an author you're supposed to make your readers like you personally, which doesn't make sense to me. I understand many people will not like what I write no matter what, but I don't feel like they need to like me as a person. There are plenty of people you like as people whose writing you might find terrible. I also feel I can enjoy a book thoroughly while knowing very little about the author.

  28. I agree with the title, and shall immediately shelve all writing plans.

    I found out there's a little group of people who write blogs about me and meet up in real life to bitch about me. Don't people have better things to do? I can't imagine it improving once my books are available.

    This makes me wonder how much I want them to be available. Maybe they should stay at home with me, where they're safe and loved. Part two of plan is for me to stay at home, where it's safe and I'm loved. Twitter account is now locked... but I've got blogs. What about LinkedIn? How long will it take to close everything down?

    I suppose I could just agree with the title, but try not to care. Maybe not yet though. Maybe I'll care for a bit, and then decide not to care once I've stopped sniffing. Tea may help.

  29. Is it wrong if my career goal is to have people say of me, "I can't believe she made so much money writing that crap"?

  30. Eric: Glad you liked the trailer!

    Lois: It's the "a lot of people that do" that matters, of course! Shakespeare wouldn't still be around if it weren't for that.

    Davin: That's exactly why self-publishing is a good option for some people, I think. Sometimes the small group you want to reach is more easily reached (and more quickly) that way instead of other ways. It's all about what makes you happy as the writer (and that isn't as selfish as it sounds).

    Martin: Sounds good to me! I think that's all many of us can ask for.

    Scott: I LOVE what your mom says. That is a motto to live by, seriously. The older are wiser.

    Jill; Yes!

    Lisa: Haha, I think I'll have to go to that movie even though it goes against everything I usually like. :)

    Mariel: I agree with you on that a writer does not need to personally like the author to enjoy the work. That seems kind of silly to make that a requirement of any kind!

    Rebecca: Hahaha! Your comment made my day. :)

    Tara: Haha! No, that's not wrong. Because somewhere in there a whole bunch of people liked it enough to buy it!

  31. Oh my gosh, that was the funniest thing I've ever seen! Chinese food? OMG! Hilarious.

    You're right though, you can't please everyone!


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