Monday, April 11, 2011

What is optimism; baby, you can't hurt me

Minutes ago, I finished edits on the chapters drafted this weekend. I wonder sometimes at the complexity of some of my sentences. I wonder about why I tend to say things how I say them. I wonder if there's a better way to say what I'm trying to say. But I guess such things are discovered in practice and nowhere else. In any event, I'm somewhat satisfied with what I produced, and am hereby celebrating my reaching the double digit mark on each of the current projects. All told, I estimate that I've drafted roughly 65,000 words since I started this nine weeks ago. I'd have something that looked sort of like a whole novel if I had focused on them one at a time, however I'm not worried at all that I will finish all three. We'll call it confidence.

I finally got the review of one of the first people to read my novel when it came out. He said he would only give it to me in person, which is odd, but he's an eccentric fellow overall so at least he's consistent. He said, and I quote, "it isn't a book I would normally read, or recommend to anyone," and that is a decent summation of his review as a whole. He's extremely exacting though, more critical of my work than even I am, and he isn't the only person I know like that. I think talking with him though will makes me better, and proves that I am better than how I was. His words hurt, but not so significantly that they tore away at my own confidence in myself. Some of his thoughts I even agreed with. What's more, they weren't all bad. He even pointed out the natural expectation that I would improve, and he would read the rest provided I published them.

Saturday I was at a birthday party for a friend, and I was asked about my book. Not that the person had heard of me, but because I was singled out and questioned. I did not react well, I think. I dropped my head and made a face, sort of like I was ashamed or embarrassed. I was singled out for that, too. I eventually got the title out and proceeded to push the conversation onto a different topic with haste. Later the same evening (at a different bar) the same topic was brought up again. This time, I think I did better (and I was equally sober). I smiled and held my head up and said the name of the book a little proudly. In both cases though, the people reacted the same, with the same spirit as whatever friend spoke when they were talking me up. I keep waiting for people to forget and things to go back to the way they were, but I guess the newness hasn't worn off quite yet.

The business side of things remains equally tenacious. Recently, there was a dust up over the presentation of credits for books on places like amazon. My entry is like most authors of the publisher, and the name is listed first followed by a declaration of author, followed by the editor and cover artist listed as editor and cover artist. One person was arguing that this shouldn't be the case, that the only person who should be listed there should be the author, and that the proper place for the editor and cover artist should only be inside the book. I asked a friend about it, having no opinion on the matter. Or at least, I certainly don't mind. Without the edits performed by the editor, the writing wouldn't nearly be as strong. Without the cover art done by the cover artist, people wouldn't be drawn in to read the writing nearly as well. I, of course, did the most work, but that's why my name is first. Naturally, I was confused over why people were so vehement about things.

Then again, I am only a writer. I don't solve mysteries, I just point them out. Today I begin another week after a previous one of riding the dragon's back. I'm still here, so I take it as a net win.

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