I enjoy going to a certain blog and reading the comments a lot of times. A lot of indie writers frequent this site and I enjoy hearing their opinions about things. I followed one writer who seemed particularly cogent back to her website. She had some free stories for readers on which she was soliciting advice.
Reading is subjective. If you put 10 people in a room and give them the same thing to read, each of them will have an idea on how to change the book. That’s why I think critique groups are the kiss of death. So is asking for advice.
One of the important things about writing is that you have to know, deep within yourself, when the book is true, when you’ve done justice to the characters and the story. You can’t keep asking people for opinions. The only opinion that really matters is yours. The characters popped into YOUR mind. You thought of the story. YOU are the final judge.
But back to this story. I was blown away by how talented the writer was. I could hear her voice in the very first paragraph. I thoroughly enjoyed one of the stories. I started frowning when I read she’d changed things to satisfy the tastes of some of her readers. I wanted to jump up and down or put my foot through the monitor.
The confidence to write has to come from within. It doesn’t come from other people. Once your book is out there for the public, that’s validation. But the courage to put it out there has to come from the writer himself. The guts to submit or to even push Publish on Kindle has to originate with the writer.
I was both enchanted and disappointed by this writer. I haven’t sent her an email because I’ve done that before only to find myself being an unwilling mentor to someone who didn’t want to do the hard work herself. But I hope she somehow gains the confidence to put her work out there for the world to see.