“I told him, she’s no author, she just
self published her own book.”
Wow… when it comes to insults, this one strikes right at the core and draws blood. It left me speechless and numb, though considering the speaker, not entirely surprised. Fortunately I was not present to bear the insult first hand, which leaves you (and me) to wonder why I was a subject of discussion at all, and (forgive my whimper of pain here) why the speaker felt the compulsion to set the record straight and then to share the exchange with me.
Granted my first novel, Out of the Ordinary, hasn’t taken the country by storm, isn’t in negotiations for adaptation as a screenplay or any other of my literary fantasies (yet). But it’s a good story… still timely and compelling enough to keep one reader from going to bed so he could finish it.
I take particular pride that he’s not even related to me.
It’s true that writing isn’t a profession for the thin-skinned… for those who want recognition or glory, or who can’t take hard, hurtful criticisms in stride. You learn that early on. For the true authors the downside of writing doesn’t stop you from putting the story in your head on paper — for no one but yourself. Or so I thought. When the e-publisher accepted it… well it was sweet vindication.
It’s also true that most people undervalue the work it is to choose the correct words, to convey a message simply and clearly. Everyone thinks they can do it — which is why freelance writing work can be so hard to come by. But sit in front of a blank page and try to find the right words and you’ll see that this task is often hard, lonely, thankless.
It’s work we do because we love it.
Facing down the insults… the put downs… the dismissal of the rest of the world is what I do. I might be self-published. I might be as-yet-undiscovered, but I’m still author.