Friday, January 29, 2010

Love me or hate me, it shouldn't matter

Tip of the day: The Grammy awards are on Sunday night, Jan. 31st, on CBS! I predict Taylor Swift will walk away with at least a couple of them. Her CD, FEARLESS, is amazing, and if you want to tap into the feelings of many teen girls, listen to her music!

So, how many of us dream of being mobbed by fans, holding our books in their hands, screaming our name with words of adoration, much like teens do with pop/country star Taylor Swift?

Okay, maybe not quite that much adoration. But still, I think most of us do have dreams of going to a book signing where there's standing room only. Heck, I'd be happy if more than two people came, and they weren't anyone I had to beg to get there.

I've realized something recently, though, that I thought I'd share here. Popularity has nothing to do with our writing. Being popular, or not, isn't going to make my writing better or worse. The only thing that is going to make my writing better is for me to work and work at it.

I turned off my google alerts recently, and YA author Sara Zarr congratulated me on taking that step. I went searching for something she said on the subject. It was in an interview she did for another fabulous YA author, Cynthia Leitich Smith. The whole thing is a great read, so you should check it out (and read Sara's book, ONCE WAS LOST, if you haven't already). But I like this one sentence in particular:

"If you allow your writing to get tangled up in your popularity, you're going to make your writing life a lot harder on yourself than it needs to be, and you could wear down before you've really done all you want to do with your writing."

Of course I want people to read and like my books. But whether they do or not shouldn't be the reason I write. Sara also makes a good point about what we get out of google alerts. We get positive feedback, but we also get negative feedback. And guess which one we are most likely to remember?

Every time I sit down to write, I do the best I can. Some days are better than others. And yes, ultimately, some books will probably be better than others. But I can't write hoping for a mob of fans. I must write, hoping to write a book that might touch some people.

I must write, with no other goal than to write the very best book that I am able.

~Lisa, Miss Crafting a Career


Kate Fall said...

ONCE WAS LOST was incredible. Sara Zarr's novels always leave me crying.

I think you make some great points here, Lisa. Sigh, why do we always remember negative feedback and forget positive feedback?

Kristina Springer said...

Exactly! :-)

Melinda said...

Hi! I usually just lurk here, but I wanted to pop in and say that I love your blog and the unique perspectives you each offer.

Also, I thought some of your readers might be interested in a novel beginnings contest that Agent Mary Kole is hosting this month. This link has all the details:

Jen said...

Excellent post!!! I need to check out some of these books, they look really good!!!

Love the blog!