As writers, we spend hours and hours pouring ourselves into our books. All that time spent working on your characters, your world, your plot. The planning, the writing, the editing. There’s so much of the author in every book on your shelf.
But as writers, we need to remember that our books are not ourselves.
When you get fan-feedback from your book, praise reviews, people getting excited over snippets and concepts, it’s pretty exciting for you, and that’s as it should be.
But we need to be careful. While I have thrown myself so deeply into my novel…it is not me. Even as it succeeds and flourishes. That’s not me.
While it might sound strange to be guarded about your excitement, there’s a good reason. If you’ve written very much at all, you’ll probably have gotten some feedback on it. And if you’ve had much feedback, you’ll probably know that it’s not all excitement and roses.
Some feedback is negative. It shows you the flaws of your book, the parts you need to work on more, the little elements you missed, etc.
If a literary agent or a publisher rejects your story, or if an editor says it needs more work, or if a reader leaves a negative review on your published novel, that’s not on you. If someone says your book was rubbish, it doesn’t mean that you’re rubbish.
You are not the success or failure of your book.
If you put your worth in the success of your book, you’ll never be satisfied. There’s never a point in the bookish journey where you’ve ‘reached it’. Your book can become an international bestseller, but it won’t be ‘enough’ if you’re putting your self worth on your book.
Rejection letters can hurt. Negative reviews can hurt. But they can’t change who you are unless you let them.
It’s a choice you have to consciously make. The choice to be you, not your work. What people think and say about your book should change the way you act and the way you live.
Whether you’re going through the good times or the hard times, you aren’t your book. You are you. Your book can come from your heart, but it is not your heart. You are beautiful and unique and loved by the Creator of the universe, and if that’s not encouraging enough to put a smile on your face, I don’t know what is. 😊
Just a short, rambling post today, but let’s chat! Are you going through a good time or a hard time at the moment? How has life been treating you lately?