Saturday, April 2, 2011

Mining For Gold

Sometimes, I consider self-publishing a little like trying out for American Idol.  Most of the people trying out (self-publishing) are giving it their all...praying they are the next American Idol (Amanda Hocking). 

Early in the audition process on American Idol, I've noticed some of my favorite singers crack under the pressure and go home.  After spending the last month under the microscope where every word from Warriors of the Cross has been scrutinized and publicly critiqued, I understand how that can happen.  I refuse for that to be my fate.  Writing is not something I could abandon with ease. 

In order to prevent the burn-out, I'm working hard to keep everything in perspective.  I remind myself frequently that what I write or how I write it is not a matter of life and death.  The words are just black and white letters on a paper (computer) that can be changed or deleted with a few clicks of a button.  The nurse in me reminds myself that there are people in the hospital who would give anything to have their worst problem be a little negative feedback.  When I think of them, I suck in my gut, square my shoulders, and thank God for my blessings.

When it comes to having my book read by beta readers/reviewers, I've noticed people are either Paula Abdul-types or Simon Cowell-types.  By this I mean, they either give you glowingly positive feedback, or they give you brutally open and honest criticism. 

Here's what I know.  Both forms of responses are as important and valuable as the other.   It is up to the receiver to weed through the information and glean from it anything that will make their singing/writing better.  Equally important is the act of literally and figuratively discarding anything that will tear your emotions down or have a negative impact on your art in the future. 

Right now, I'm sifting through the feedback, as if I were mining for gold.  By this, I mean that I am analyzing the suggestions and keeping the precious feedback while letting the unnecessary or impertinent sludge be vacuumed from my thoughts.

I want to thank those who have given me positive feedback.  I also want to thank those who have given me 'recommendations' for improvement.  In the end, I'm confident The Warrior Series will be as good as possible because of everyone interested enough to respond either way.