Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Power of Opinion

I often find myself repeating the same encouraging statement to my children 'believe in yourself' yet shamelessly I also find I tend to be the first person to doubt my own abilities. Does this make me a hypocrite? Why is that? Is it because we are our own worst critic or is it human nature to second guess our own talents?

In a technologically advanced society where virtual conversations and opinions are so easily accessible, I feel exceedingly vulnerable when putting my literary work on display for all to see as it has the potential to be ripped to shreds by thousands world wide. Thankfully, the feeling only lasts momentarily and I inherently push the send button to press my luck and ride the virtual opinion wave with gumption and eager anticipation!

I have experienced first hand the meaning of 'hard exterior shell' when my recently released YA novel, Elements The Beginning, hit the market. It is without question a debut book and unknown author are vulnerable to the onslaught of bad reviews. Concurrently it has just as much of an equal opportunity and substantial chance of receiving a positive opinion, capable of launching an author into a successful writing career from the same group of avid readers, reviewers, bloggers and critics. The catch is, as the writer, how much of the bad outweighs the good and vice versa?

I am not one to believe this is an easy feat to come by and the chances of being the exception to the rule and an overnight success are slim to none, but I would be in a perpetual state of denial if I didn't admit to daydreaming about it and conclude that anything is possible. (This coming from a fiction writer, of course)

Social media networks provide a myriad of marketing strategies, public relations, customer service, advertising and (the sometimes dreaded, brutally honest) personal opinion. Instead of feeling overwhelmed and defeated about my chances of extraordinary achievement, I am revitalized with the emotion that in the vast open planet, on this place we call earth, dreams can come true! Whoever said it was going to be easy?

I have decided to adopt the following quote as my motto; Success only comes before work in the dictionary (this quote actually is taped above my desk, no joke). Nothing comes without hard work, effort and diligence and in all honesty I wouldn't want it any other way. Personally, the struggles I have experienced in my journey have shaped me into the person I am today and continue to evolve into. I think it is safe to say many people may harbor the same opinion about themselves and their work ethic. Constructive criticism is extremely helpful, even if it stings at first, pick yourself up off the floor after a good cry or temper tantrum and put the suggestion to good use.

I must end this segment by expressing my endless gratitude for all the reviewers, bloggers, readers, fans, critics, librarians, literary agents, publishers, and everyday book fanatics for their extreme devotion and uncompromising allegiance to the literary world. Even if they are not hardcore fans of mine, their loyalty to books is duly noted. Thank you!

Keep the dream alive and hug an author today! You never know they might need it!

1 comment:

  1. {{{{{HUG}}}}}
    You have certainly hit the nail on the head with this post. First I would like to send out a congratulatory note on being published. That is a huge achievement in and of itself.
    As a 'just starting' author I harbor the same fears and dreams. I would imagine that anyone who loves to read and write has the same fantasy of seeing their name in that fantastic print spread across a magnificent book jacket on the New Release shelf at their local book store. Or better yet, the New York Times Best Seller list. Now that is a dream...
    I am not certain which is harder; the initial baby steps towards a (hopefully) publishable novel or the world-wide criticisms. Currently I am in those first baby steps and waiting for my MS to be edited on the developmental side. Having an actual 'professional' read and critique is unnerving at best since at this point most writers have had peers and/or friends read and review. These I would hazard a guess to be a little more tolerable than someone in the biz actually picking it apart.
    Then you get to be published and your hard work is laid out bare to Joe Public and official book reviewers. That is a whole other source for obsessive nail-biting. I can only hope to be there one day, and I dare say I do hope, because it is phase one to a writer's dream. That is why we write isn't it? To have a part of ourselves out there to share with the masses. To create a world full of wonderful characters and stories that pulls the reader in just as we have been pulled when we were the reader.
    So big hugs go to you Ms. Fuentes! And thank you for sharing your dreams and fears. You are certainly not alone with that and I am all too glad that we share them.