Good morning! I’m a little scattered today. Muse the Purrbot is hurt in some way, which makes me unhappy. Trip to the vet is happening in about an hour or so. We don’t think it’s serious, possibly a pulled muscle or such, but she hissed this weekend. Muse never does that.
As authors, we tend to crave attention of a sort. It may not be finding papparazzi outside our home, but we do need some sort of acceptance or approval. We want to know our hard work is welcome and appreciated. The thing is, there’s a huge difference between the two words.
To be accepted, to me, means my work has merit. Peers point to me as an example of what can happen if you put in the time/energy and have the patience. It means my failings as a person aren’t the focus. Rather, the focus is positive and on the story I’ve crafted.
Approval is a different ball of wax. And I don’t know that I need someone I’ve never met approving of what I write. If they don’t, it means I’ve hit a nerve. There was something in the story that made them uncomfortable, made them think. We need to write the story that must be written, not the one that makes everyone feel safe. Bad things happen to good people in life, and literature should mirror that. We overcome obstacles and come out stronger for it. Why shouldn’t our protagonists go through the same struggle?
This is my viewpoint. Your mileage may vary. There are some authors who will do very well writing feel good stories that readers can escape into and ignore the chaos around them. I’d rather write about the chaos and create characters my readers can relate to.
And what’s the one way I know I’ve been accepted? Reviews. That’s the single best way for readers to communicate to their favorite authors that their work touched their lives in some way, good or bad.