Just a scared little girl

26 Jun

Well, if you know me, I’m not really “little”. Still, that’s how I feel inside, like I’m just a scared little girl.

I’ve mentioned several times on the blog about my book. I’ve worked on it for nearly a decade and have sent a “first” draft to iUniverse for review.* I received an editorial review of my work a few weeks ago, but I have yet to even read one word of it. Why? Because I’m scared. Once you put a part of yourself out there, once it’s in print, it’s there for others to judge and critique and there’s not changing it. There’s no taking it back and fixing it.

What if everyone hates it? Sure, I’ve had some friends and family read it, but I’ve had little critique that I could use. Everyone says they like it, which is nice, but when people I don’t know read it, they’re not going to be so gentle.

I look at books that are flying off the shelves, that are hard to keep in stock because everyone wants it. The latest example is E.L. James’ Fifty Shades trilogy. Is it particularly good writing? One associate of mine said that there were plenty of grammar and spelling errors. A good friend of mind said that it was “no big deal”. So why is something that is mediocre** been at the top of multiple bestseller lists for weeks? Marketing. You get someone talking about a book and word starts to spread like wildfire. Many times I’ve had customers ask for the book then say, “I don’t know anything about it. Everyone just keeps telling me to read it.” Let me tell you, I’m over telling middle-aged and senior women that the book is one long BDSM story.

What’s Fifty Shades of Grey have to do with my book? When I see an unknown author skyrocket up to fame and fortune practically overnight, it breaks my confidence. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. So how am I going to feel when it doesn’t happen to me? Let’s be realistic: this is my first published work and my work isn’t on the same level of James Joyce, either. I have no monetary means for marketing the book, though social networking and plain ol’ word of mouth is free (or at least cheap). Sure, I can market my book some, but the more I put myself out there, the more susceptible I become to criticism.

And when it comes right down to criticism, it turns out that I’m just a scared little girl.

*First draft for them, one hundredth draft for me.

**This is solely an opinion based on what I’ve heard from multiple customers and friends. I have not actually read the books, but I think it’s safe to say that it’s no Ulysses.


Posted by on June 26, 2012 in About me, Literature


Tags: , ,

7 responses to “Just a scared little girl

  1. Dan

    June 26, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    You can do it, love. Read the critique. Remember, you went farther than most people EVER go – you put yourself out there. Be brave! Deep breath! Go!

  2. Peg Paulson

    June 26, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    Pretend you’re advising some other scared little girl and do exactly what you’d tell her to do…. walk through it one step at a time…. there will be freedom on the other side!

  3. Zen

    June 26, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Eh. Fifty Shades leaves a bad taste in my mouth every time I hear about it. I haven’t read it personally, but I’ve read blogs that have been providing critique for every chapter, and it’s all I need to know. Terrible writing, no proofreading whatsoever… and that’s without mentioning that it was originally a Twilight fanfiction. That’s where all the publicity is coming from.

  4. Carissa Emerson

    June 26, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    But… the book 50 shades of grey started as Twilight fanfiction. Twilight… fanfiction… >.< When the author published she changed the names. Why do I bring this up? That's what you may be asking, and it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that omg even fanfiction gets published. I bring it up because the author of this story took character types from an already existing novel and implanted them into a story that felt like Twilight, but lacked the sex that the original 30 something housewife sector wanted. Its hype is a little baffling, but then so was Twilight's popularity. Your story is original, and doesn't ride on anyone's coat tails. And if you did something like that and it turned out successful you would be disappointed in yourself. You need to go and look at those editorial notes, because you are braver then you think. 🙂 And if you need. Anyone to read and critique honestly, just let me know.

  5. Carissa Emerson

    June 26, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Correction: That should have said, “felt like Twilight but HAD the sex that the original one lacked, but the housewives wanted.” :P. Or something to that extent anyway…

  6. Amanda

    June 26, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    Dan is right. I wouldn’t even be able to get one draft of a book down on paper. You are totally awesome, Liz! Love you!

  7. Liz

    June 26, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    Thank you, everyone, for the positive feedback. Carissa, you are absolutely right about the fanfiction; I would be disappointed to succeed off someone else’s idea (even as tempting as the money is!). Dan, Peg, Carissa, and Amanda, you are all wonderful women and I’m glad to know each one of you. Thank you for your support! I really hope to read those editorial reviews tomorrow on my day off, but may wait until Fred is around for some extra emotional support. XO


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