Thursday, January 13, 2011
Should You Protect Your Bubble?
I've been thinking a lot about bubbles, lately. Protective bubbles. I recently read a post about book reviews and whether or not an author should read them once their book is out. This post doesn't have to do with only published authors, however. I want to talk to everyone today about the bubbles you write in. Do you write in a bubble?
Davin and I have talked about how we both need a bubble in which we write. When I'm working on a rough draft, I'm pretty fragile in the emotion department. I don't want to be poked at by people criticizing my work - even if it's work that's already published. Well, especially if it's work that's already published because, you know, I can't really go and change any of that stuff. It's kind of permanently out there. When I put Cinders out there last year I read EVERY SINGLE REVIEW I could get my hands on. It was like this hunger I couldn't quell. I wanted the validation that my work was good enough since I had self-published it and didn't have the validation of a publisher. I've made it clear that when my novel, Monarch, comes out I won't be reading the reviews unless my publisher sends them to me or they are part of my blog tour or from a friend or family member. That might be all of them at first...but, my point is that I learned from from my Cinders experience that once you read a certain amount of reviews, you pretty much know what everyone else is going to say. You start to see a pattern, and there doesn't seem to be much reason to keep reading the reviews if you know the bad ones are going to start nagging on you. Read 50 5-star reviews and 1 1-star review and the only one you'll remember or care about is that 1-star. I'd rather stay away from that, personally.
For those who aren't published yet, maybe it's not reviews that you wish to avoid - but reader feedback on other work you've put out there on your blog, or beta readers giving you advice, or even blog posts you read every day which might make you start doubting your ability. You might read a post about some rule you're breaking, and lo and behold, you can't think about anything else as you write your draft. All of a sudden you are stunted and your creative energy withers. That happens to me all the time.
So what's best? Do you think you need a bubble where you can write your drafts? I know it's good to be aware of what others say out there, and it's wonderful to grow from feedback, but I think there is a time and a place for those things.