Writing can be such a fickle thing.
On one hand, you must have the self-confidence to believe your words are worth reading. We live in an age where most everyone knows how to write (although reading the comments on some forums have shaken my belief in this fact). What makes my particular arrangement of words better than anyone else’s? Sure, I’ve created worlds and characters who live and die and love and hate and all that good stuff, but so have countless others. Why should anyone spend their time (and possibly, their money) reading my story?
The truth is, I don’t have a good answer.
I amuse myself to no end with my writing, while simultaneously loathing parts of it. If I had my way, there are sections of everything I’ve ever written I would rip out and re-do. But the story went where it would, despite my best intentions, and to pull on one thread might unravel the entire thing. So I’ve learned to love the monster I’ve given birth to, flaws and all. So long as there are no grammatical errors or logical inconsistencies, I can live with it. But that doesn’t mean everyone else can. Like the parent of a screaming child at the store, I can’t expect everyone to be so understanding. “Look, I know she’s trying to bite everyone in a 10′ radius all because she wants that $2 toy they stick in the check-out aisle to make parents’ lives miserable, but believe me, she’s usually a little angel (when she’s asleep).”
At some point, I must have enough faith in my words to compel others to share in them. Because the honest truth is, nobody will believe in my works like I do.
On the other hand, part of writing is leaving oneself open to criticism. Somewhere along the way, after you’ve gathered up enough pieces of armor to ready yourself for the battle, you must realize you have to take a few blows from time to time. Nothing is worse than an artist living in a bubble, yet this is how most art is created. When external forces are put into place, the work often gets arguably better (or at least, more marketable), but some of the artist’s vision gets lost. Only when the work is done and on display — when the monster has been given birth — can we step back and let it and ourselves be judged accordingly. And as easy as it is to dismiss the idea of others, it serves us well to have an open mind. Others do not have our bias. They have not spent years creating something that can easily be digested within a week. They haven’t been struck by a random thought in the middle of the night, compelling them to get out of bed to jot down a note to add two new lines of dialogue in chapter 23. They’re simply calling it as they see it.
We, as writers, need to have the self-confidence to believe our work is the best and the humility to accept that it’s not.
I guess what I’m trying to say in all this is, positive or negative, I’m way, waaaay open to reviews. 🙂