Seeing as it’s already January 5th, most of you have probably made all the resolutions you plan on making. (Unless the resolution you need to make is to not procrastinate, and you haven’t made it yet.) You’re also probably sick of blog posts about resolutions. But stay with me a minute. I need you, dear reader.
First, some important background info:
1. My debut YA novel, FROST, is coming out in 2011. To say that I’m kind of excited about this would be like saying Tim Riggins is kind of hot.
2. I’m a pleaser. My biggest fear (aside from rats, driving, and driving while being attacked by rats) is disappointing people. As wildly excited as I am for my book to be released, I am also dreading hearing what people have to say about it. I love constructive criticism during the writing process, but this is different. There will be no trips to bookstores to fix the scene on p33, or to cross out unnecessary adverbs. (Well, at least no trips to bookstores outside of my local area.)
So, when considering New Year’s resolutions, I thought that maybe I should resolve not to read any reviews of my book, or to have a trusted friend screen them first, making sure I only see the ones that say I’m a literary wunderkind the likes of whom hasn’t been seen since (insert revered author here).
But could I really trust myself to resist the temptation of a little Googling now and then? I think it might be impossibly hard! Frankly, writing the book was hard enough. So I decided that instead of making a resolution for myself, I’d make one for everyone else. A resolution that won’t just benefit me, but all writers out there whose work is available for discussion.
I ask you, dear reader, to add this resolution to any others you might have made.
Here it is:
Resolve to make 2011 the year of positivity in the literary world! Eliminate all negative critical discussion of books! Put down your scalpels and pick up your pom-poms!
In 2010, you might have said you didn’t believe a certain plot point in Book X; in 2011, you can celebrate the writer’s creativity in coming up with something so farfetched! If you would have once described the romance in Book Y as unconvincing, now you can praise the fact that the writer is portraying the inexplicability of love! Too many exclamation points in Book Z?!?!?!? Wow, that story sure was filled with energy and life! (See, this won’t be so hard!)
Give 5 stars to all books you rate on Goodreads! Reviewers for SLJ, Kirkus, Horn Book, etc. – give starred reviews to every single book that crosses your desk! Just think of how many smiles you’ll put on previously worried faces.
In 2012 we can reconsider. But maybe we won’t want to. Maybe this isn’t just a way to a happier Marianna, but to a happier community of readers and writers in general!
Wait, what’s that I hear you saying? You enjoy a good critical discussion about the books you read, about both the positive and negative aspects? You like to hear other people’s honest opinions? You find critical discourse to be a vital aspect of the literary world?
And, wait, what was that?? You think I am the one who needs to make a New Year’s resolution, and that it shouldn’t be avoidance of any less-than-glowing reviews for my book? That I should make a resolution to learn how to accept the fact that not everyone will like FROST, or to consider a new profession???
Well, I’m not going to consider a new profession. There has never been anything as satisfying to me as growing a spark of an idea into a story so real in my mind that I’m convinced it actually happened. And, despite my fears, I am thrilled that other people will get to read FROST. I consider myself to be insanely lucky to be a professional writer.
So… hmmm… I guess that means my New Year’s resolution needs to be to find a way to deal with the reality that not everyone will love my book. Right?
Anyone have the name of a good therapist in Brooklyn?