Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mid-Week Rude Awakening: Your Baby's Not Perfect

There. I said it.

Too often a writer becomes so involved with her manuscript, the faults are no longer visible. An author who allows normal common sense to flee when the spotlight falls on her latest creative work has switched gears from Writer to Mommy. What's the difference?

A Writer can not only handle criticism, she embraces it, considers the feedback, and makes changes to the work, based on the suggestions she believes will strengthen the story or the characters. If the story's already been published, she shrugs off the negativity, accepts the criticisms that have merit, and focuses on making her next story even better.
Mommy doesn't like anyone to say anything negative about the work, whether the feedback comes from a critique partner, an editor, or a book reviewer. In fact, she's liable to lash out at the professional who dares to comment on a potential flaw. Anyone who insults her precious work is fair game for an online onslaught of flame wars, a boycott, or some kind of ugly retaliation.

A Writer understands that a publisher is looking to sell your book and may request changes to make the story more appealing to a wider audience. She will carefully consider the suggestions presented and accept the opportunity to do revisions when offered.
Mommy refuses to change the end, take out the subplot, or rewrite the secondary character's point-of-view simply because she worked so hard on those scenes. Those who don't immediately see the perfection in her work are just dense. (And Mommy doesn't work with dense people.)

A Writer studies the market to find the right home for her work, considers all her options, and weighs what's best for her career future.
Mommy places her story in the hands of a friend in the business, someone who "understands" her particular type of genius and won't ask for too many changes. So what if she'll have little to no distribution or the company goes bankrupt soon after the book's release? At least she kept her story's integrity whole.

A Writer is a mature professional who can separate her love for her story--and the hours of toiling over the manuscript--from the market's needs and wants.
Mommy expects accolades for simply typing The End.

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