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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Life of an Author #authors #blogs #articles #publishing

The Life of an Author

Five traits a person must possess in order to become an author.

1. Imagination (if you can't dream it up, you're in the wrong business)

2. Confidence (believe in yourself, be able to self-promote)

3. Perseverance (be willing to do whatever it takes)

4. Patience (of a saint)

5. Thick-skinned (be able to withstand the criticism)

You're probably wondering why the word "talent" isn't in this list. Well, talent like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Although I do admit, there are some authors just as there are some painters and singers that should really opt for a change in profession.
I was snooping through Goodreads to read the reviews of the big name authors. It's something I enjoy doing once in a while. And this time I read a number of reviews for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. My husband and I watched all three movies, the originals from Sweden. Anyway, I couldn't believe what people had to say about the book. They either loved it (five stars) or hated it (one star) and there was no happy medium. To be honest, I wasn't surprised with the ratings due to the brutal content.
I started to read the book once, but soon lost interest and I'm not sure why really. Maybe it was Stieg Larrson’s style of writing. But just because it wasn't my cup of tea doesn't mean the book had a bad plot or was terribly written. A review is just an individual’s point of view and is irrelevant in the end. I prefer tea some people prefer coffee. Does that make the tea better than the coffee?
And I'm not sure where the "I'm fucking mad!" reviews came from (I've noticed this has become a disturbing trend on Goodreads). But some people were actually mad at Stieg Larsson (who is dead by the way) and almost threatened him in their reviews. It's a BOOK people. Okay, you didn't care for it. Do you have to be so rude? Get over it. Author's are people too.
Getting back to my list. I've received some interesting emails from fans and others who aren't. Which means, I've heard it all, the praise and criticism. Some people are nice others not so much. Everyone's entitled to an opinion and everyone's entitled to like or dislike something. The problem is that passing judgment unless you've walked a mile in the other person's (author's) shoes is fruitless.
Also, you have to remember that posting anything on the Internet invites judgement. This is because the Internet, as a whole, is a nameless and faceless fantasy world where a certain percent of the population believe they can do and say whatever they want with little to no consequences. How much longer will this continue? Who knows. Unfortunately, for now, we have to accept some of rude behaviour. It’s the risk we take as authors. That doesn’t mean we have to live with it. It’s how we deal with it. 
So, here's my advice for what it's worth. Do what you feel is right. For me, I write for several reasons: personal enjoyment, to share my stories, and as a career. The rest, I pay little to no attention. Constructive criticism, if presented politely, I do take the time to listen and learn from. Defaming comments, I just consider the source. Some people have nothing better to do than run others down. Praise, I accept with a sense of great pleasure that someone took the time to read my work and enjoyed it; this, I'm grateful for. And never, I mean never take the hurtful things to heart even though it's difficult. Brush them off and continue on. Publishing is a highly competitive business, but if you work hard, the rewards can be great.

Happy Yaoi Hunting
Blak Rayne ^_^!!


  1. Blak, I cannot imagine how you came to miss from your list the most important qualification for a successful writer - being the niece of some-one important in the publishing industry.
    No, that's just me being cynical. Yes, you will get both compliments and brickbats and, as you care about your work, some of the negative reviews will be upsetting. As you say, get over it and develop a thicker hide.
    Don't forget that most great artists achieved the pinnacle of their fame after they were dead. That's a great comfort, isn't it?

    1. Oh what a comfort you are, Jacqueline. Thanks so much for stopping by! LOL