How to Cope with Ups’ and Downs’ of Publisher Reviews as Writers

meet duff, novel, book, steven humphreys, fantasy, adventure

I told you years ago I submitted the first chapter of my novel ‘Meet Duff’ for a review and received three stars out of five rating. I was ecstatic! I thought that was pretty darned good considering it was my first one.

Then, the reviewer (publisher) suggested I should put ‘more action’ in it. I was eager to please. I was very happy I got a decent rating and felt I was in there with all the other writers (or, at least average.) I was very excited, but little did I know then that I had set myself up for a potentially big ‘downer’ trying to please someone other than me.

I did what I thought he wanted and lo and behold, he took my three star rating away giving me only one lousy star when I hoped I’d get at the very least, a total of four, even five if I were lucky.

I can’t explain exactly how I felt. I was pissed off, my ego was smashed down and it really got me discouraged for quite a long time (I think I broke my pencil in a fit of rage. well, not really.)

So, from that point on I felt my lesson learned was to write things as I saw them. I began writing for myself without apology.

I got a big pat on the back and a hard kick in the A _ S…

So, the big question now is, who am I writing for? You know, there’s nothing better than getting a good comment about anything you’ve written. It’s really a neat feeling. I love my ‘likes’ on WordPress! Thank you if you have given me any. I really appreciate it. Writers may possess a more sensitive or ‘fragile ego’ than the average person. That’s because most of us are likely ‘introverts’.

But, I guess my point is, to be sure not to quit your day job until you make more at writing than your current job is paying. Furthermore, I would make sure I derived personal satisfaction first and thank Frank Sinatra for his song, ‘and, I did it my way’. If anything at all, at least you will get that brand of gratification.

Money isn’t everything, is it? But, we all have to eat. And, some of us have to raise a family. Now, I know for sure that takes a lot of money to do it right. So, if you are an up and comer, your writing might have to stay a hobby for a while (for me, it resurfaced when I retired. Hopefully, it won’t take you quite as long…)

The saving grace is that my wife and I have retirement income! We have to budget our money though. In other words, we are not rich (OK, it’s my fault, I would have been worth probably a couple million if I wouldn’t have been married three times before. yes, three times. And, yes, I did have money.)

I learned the best way to justify all the time and effort I spend writing is to write to please me (and of course, you the reader hopefully with posts just like this one.) To tell you the truth, writing is good therapy. It is really therapeutic. It’s a form of meditation and relaxation. It keeps me sane and my mind sharp.

When you write a book that’s more than 50,000 words taking about a year to write, you get slightly touchy about criticism. Yet, at this point in my life, I don’t care anymore about becoming famous or rich. That flew away out the window. Sure, I wouldn’t turn down a cool million, but it is no longer as important as when I was young. Not a priority. Anyway, I am living pretty much how I want to live.

As you ‘grow’ older you just for some reason don’t care about stuff that was so important thirty years or so ago. And, if you are so unfortunate as to lose everything you’ve worked so hard all your life for in more than one divorce, your priorities tend to change dramatically.

You develop a whole new way of looking at the world. But, believe you me, you never will adopt the attitude when you become penniless feeling like it was, ‘easy come, easy go’! That is, in the meantime you don’t happen to end it all by putting a rope around your neck and hanging yourself from the highest rafter in your garage. If I hadn’t been too afraid to do something like that I most likely wouldn’t be writing this right now.

So, if you happen to become wiser and learn your lessons this cruel world casts in front of your path that make you trip, fall down and break a leg, health and peace of mind become way more important and you learn through all the aches and pains that you’d better learn to quit eating so much junk food, stop chain smoking and stop the heavy binge drinking or pay the consequences.

A psychologist or two through the years may help you get by, but for me, they were only like a temporary band aid on too deep a cut needing stitches that kept breaking open and bleeding. They made an awful lot of money off me, and I helped support their families, but they never quite ‘cured’ what was ailing me…

In conclusion, no one on earth knows how much longer he will live. Rich or poor, young or old, famous or not, we need to learn to enjoy our lives more than we do regardless of the situation or circumstance we are in.

Now is all we got, unless we can change what it is we don’t like. Therefore, let’s both make the best of it and go out and ‘live a little’, as long as it doesn’t break any laws and land you and I in jail. Have a little wine now and then on the house. ‘Hey, bartender, one more round’!

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