Words Live Longer Than Critics

I couldn’t help it. This made me literally laugh out loud.

Did you know that Stephen King tried to throw away his manuscript of Carrie? But then his wife read it and told him that he needed to publish it? What would’ve happened if Stephen King had quit right then? Had given in to the negative voices in his head and had never seen his book through? What a tragic thought…

I don’t know about you, but one of the things that kept me a closeted writer for so long was the fear that people would HATE my book. I was George McFly. *cue George McFly voice* “Oooohhh noooo… I never—I never let anybody read my stories…. What if they didn’t like them? What if they told me I was no good?” Yeah. That’s the basic summary. *Years* went by like this. And yet… I just couldn’t *not* write! And you know what? People HAVE told me that I suck. I had a girl in a writing group that viciously ripped my work apart and said I should’ve killed myself, AFTER she’d stolen pieces of my storyline (true story, I have proof—she was mean). I thought about quitting then. I really did. I thought about it many times in the 3 1/2 years that followed… but dang it, I just couldn’t *not* write.

And hey! Now I’ve got a revise and resubmit from a publisher! Something I once thought would NEVER happen.

You know what? Maybe people won’t like your work. So what? Are you writing for the critics? It’s a shame if you are, because the thing about critics is that they’re always changing their minds. The person you *should* be writing for is *you*.

Write because it makes you happy. Write because you need it to breathe. Write because you have something to say. Your words will live on far longer than your critics will, so write something that makes you *proud*. You never know what’s right around the corner, what might happen if you don’t give up… I believe it’s worth it to keep moving forward, to see what’s over there… I’m excited (and terrified) to find out. Whatever it is, at least I won’t have regret. At least I won’t live with the dreaded lament that Neil Gaiman was afraid he’d have if he didn’t at least try: “I could’ve been a writer.”

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