Wednesday, February 4, 2015

IWSG: Nerves Never Go Away


Whether you're querying agents or submitting short stories, whether you're releasing your first book or your fifteenth, whether you're going to a book signing or just sending your ms to a CP for a critique -- you can't help that fearful anticipation -- 
Will they like it?  What if they don't?

Sometimes things just don't go your way.  Rejections, bad reviews, negative critiques.  These things happen.

I still get nervous every time I get a crit from a CP or a review on my book.  I'm afraid to read it.  But I do, and even if it's bad -- I survive.  Yes, at the beginning, negative feedback was cause to scarf down a pint of ice cream and crawl into bed for a day or two.  But the more I got, the more I realized life goes on.  I learned.  I did better the next time.

Don't let nerves or negativity get to you. 
This is a marathon, not a sprint.


This is a post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group, the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. It exists so the community of blogging writers can share and support each other, blog-hopping to cheerlead and commiserate. To find out more, visit: Insecure Writer's Support Group. Plus, check out the IWSG Website for lots of helpful info and links.

40 comments:

Andrew Leon said...

As long as I like it, I'm not overly concerned about other people.
That's not exactly true, but it's true enough.

Cathy Keaton said...

Well said! I still struggle to stay sane while waiting in these various scenarios, but I've always managed to get over it, eventually. I think you can get a tougher skin over time, or I'd like to think so, anyway.

Laura Clipson said...

At the end of the day, we're never going to please everybody, so negative comments are inevitable. We just need to use them to make ourselves better :)

Natalie Aguirre said...

So true what Laura said too about not being able to please everyone. I've gotten better at hearing my critique partner's critiques. I step back for a day or two and then really think about what they're saying to see if it can help my manuscript.

JeffO said...

When I open the document with critique/comment, I pull back from the keyboard, turn my head to the side, and look at it from the corner of my squinting eye. It's more like I'm in that last second before my car hits the one in front of it: bracing for impact.

Unlike a car crash, the actual event of reading the comments doesn't really hurt.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Pretty soon, you realize it's just another person's opinion and since the the world is full of people, there will be many such opinions. No big deal.
I'm never nervous sending work to my critique partners. Not sure why...

Murees Dupé said...

Great post and very true. I'm always nervous and afraid of allowing people to read my work. But I have gotten better at handling bad feedback. Wishing you all the best.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Criticism is hard to deal with, especially when we have invested so much of ourselves in the project. However, if we are able to get through it, we learn.

Stephen Hayes said...

Rejection is often hard to swallow. I find that the solution is to write or create as large a body of work as possible. That way each criticism is diluted.

Munir said...

It is natural for any creator to be tense about people'e opinion. We are all human and we like being liked, we like people to like our work. It is important for me to know my flaws or problems in my work.

Kai Strand said...

It's a marathon, not a sprint. Great advice!

Loni Townsend said...

Hehehe, I suppose that nervousness is a good thing. It means we haven't deluded ourselves with egotistical ideas of grandeur.

Melissa said...

Finding a balance between confidence and (reasonable, productive) doubt is difficult. It gets easier in a way because we know that post-crit low is coming, but it still comes.

Great post!
IWSG #143 until Alex culls the list again.

Chrys Fey said...

I recently got notes back from my beta reader on my novel and was hyperventilating. I don't think our anxiety over bad reviews/critiques/rejections will ever go away. But you're right that we shouldn't let it get us down.

Crystal Collier said...

Agreed and seconded! I'm actually at this very comfortable place where I'm good with what I've written and if people don't like pieces of it, they might have a good reason. They might not. And the best part? It's not a big deal to change it. I think that's the most freeing thought process of all.

Rachel Pattinson said...

Great post Lexa! Exactly what I need to remind myself of this month - hoping to self publish my novel soon, but already I'm scared that everyone will hate it! But even if some people do, at the end of the day, I'll still be here and I'll still be writing no matter what :).

E. Arroyo said...

Yup. And we keep going. =)

Kate Larkindale said...

So true! I'm always so nervous to let a new piece out for critique, especially if I love it. But you have to let your words go eventually, and learn to accept that not everyone is going to love what you write.

Emma Adams said...

I don't think the nerves ever go away! I've got better at taking criticism, but I'm still a bundle of nerves about my next book release!

Chemist Ken said...

I mentioned critiques on my blog today too. Sometimes I'm grateful to them for making me a better writer, but sometimes they just blow me away. Trouble is, I never know which it will be until the crit comes back.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Good points to remember. Thanks.

Birgit said...

This is a great attitude to keep reminding yourself(and me) to always do. besides there have been books that have been panned and are now considered classics

Georgina Morales said...

Yes, feeling all kinds of butterflies in the stomach are part of the deal. With time, I've learned to expect them, learned to controlled them, and sometimes actually enjoy them! I think the day I stop feeling that anxiousness in my belly, I'll stop writing. It means you are jaded and not attached to your projects, in my view. Nice post!

messymimi said...

Great advice for many of life's endeavors. Live and learn and do better next time.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

A pink of ice-cream works for me. I keep remembering back to before I was published. I was so certain once I was an bona fide author all my problems would dissolve. (smiling)

Lynda R Young said...

Nerves are normal, but if we allow them to control us, then they can do a lot of damage.
Go,go the marathon!

DMS said...

What a great post! I can definitely relate. It is hard to not have the nervous feeling, but I get past it too. Bad reviews and critiques are tough at first, but something to learn from for sure. :)

~Jess

Kim Lajevardi said...

Very true, Lex! And through all of it you have become a truly amazing writer.

randi lee said...

Very well said! Thanks for the inspiring words today :)

LD Masterson said...

Yup. Take the negative, sift through to see if there's anything worth keeping, and move on. It's the only way.

Vanessa Morgan said...

I do let it get to me unfortunately :( I have a book ready to be published, but I keep on changing small things.

On another note, you may expect an email from me soon regarding a little horror project.

Julie Flanders said...

Very true, unfortunately. If my nervousness ever went away I wouldn't even recognize myself! I had to laugh at the pic because that's basically me 24/7 no matter what is going on LOL.

Liza said...

I just look at feedback as something that can help me get better. Most time, the criticism I receive is spot on and moves me forward.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

In this business, there will always be rejections and bad reviews, whether it is your first book or your fiftieth. You either learn to deal with it, or you quit, or you become one of those crazy authors who has a viral meltdown on social media. ;)

Gina Stoneheart said...

I've learned to take negative criticism to make my writing better. If our work was always perfect, how would we grow?

Medeia Sharif said...

I didn't handle criticism well when I was young. Now I can handle it from CP's and reviewers. My writing improves and intensifies, and I'm definitely running a marathon.

dolorah said...

Definitely a marathon. Sometimes we learn from negative reviews/critiques, if they are done constructively.

lorilmaclaughlin.com said...

I don't think I'll ever get over the nerves, but I've developed a thicker skin, which helps. Just need to breathe and keep on running that marathon.

Cathrina Constantine said...

Negative feedback does have a tendency to make me teary eyed, and then angry if I don't agree with it. I've learned over the years to put on my armor-like skin and rejections are getting easier to bounce off.

Shah Wharton said...

I've been facing a huge fear (a phobia I've had for over fifteen years) - taking driving lessons. SCARED! But I'm doing it - THREE times a week. Hate every minute as my stomach rolls and I grip the wheel so hard my hands ache, but I do it. Because I want the benefits of being mobile I face down the fear. Same with criticism. I want it because I need the benefits it provides, longterm.

shahwharton.com

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