The mind of this writer is a fickle thing. I wrote a book. I published the book. I worry about the book. Or do I? Today, I don’t. Today I absolutely adore what I’ve written and I’m extraordinarily proud of it.
Tomorrow, though, I may decide that I feel so insecure about what I’ve accomplished, that I might be tempted to pull it from public consumption. I won’t, of course. I’m a writer, and this is what I do. I’m not about to undo it.
But it’s there–the doubt. Why is it that, some days, it’s overwhelming while, on others, it’s almost nonexistent? Is it because of a bad review? Not likely. I welcome criticism of all kinds as long as it’s fair, honest, and thoughtful. Sure, I want everyone to read my book, and I want everyone to love my book as much as I do. Well, as much as I do on the days when I love my book, that is.
But I’m a realist. Not everyone will love my works, and that’s fine. It stings a little, but it doesn’t keep me up at night. I’ve got plenty of other things to help with that. So, no, bad reviews don’t really affect my attitude toward my works.
Likewise, good reviews, ego-stroking, or whatnot don’t make me think more highly of myself and my writing. Sure, they’re great–I love to hear that people enjoyed the story I laid out for them. As long as they’re fair, honest, and thoughtful, they’re fantastic! But they don’t change my opinion of my own work.
I can’t explain why I can go from loving my writing one day to feeling insecure about it the next day. Make no mistake–I don’t every dislike anything I put out there. It wouldn’t make it off my computer screen if I didn’t feel that it had worth. At the same time, I guess I never know if it was the best I could have produced. “This book is awesome! Could it have been MORE awesome? Probably.”
The best I can do is call something “done” at some point and set it free in the wild, knowing full well that there will be days of happiness and days of insecurity, but also knowing that it was, when I wrote it, something I dearly loved. That way, even when the doubt creeps in, I will remember that there was a reason I released it in the first place.