Monday, January 19, 2009

So now what...

Dave Freer posting:
I am running late with this. Call it delayed reaction if you like. Hey call it anything (I don't care that deeply :-) a sort of balance between a thick skin about personal insults and a deep sensitivity about your work are baseline requirements for a writer. I just turned in the next book DRAGON'S RING and that is always a moment of profound mental cock-up for me. I hate letting go. But I can't wait to. I'm in love with it. But I hate it...

If I was a parent and it was my baby, social services would be checking on me every ten seconds and considering foster care... and talking to me about adoption.

Which is appropriate as a comparison in some ways. It's one of the hardest things for an author (or this one anyway). You've obsessed, sweated blood and cursed and swore, and torn your hair in dispair and slogged and wrestled and fought for the right words and linkages, and cried on the keyboard... and then it is gone. You've turned it out into the world. And your publisher might be much much better at editing and the rest off the process... but it is not their precious book. It's just another.

Passing that parcel is a profoundly depressing thing to do (ameliorated if they pay A LOT - then you know they'll take care).

But they can give it what you can't...

Still won't stop me worrying about the cover, the editing, the distribution and if other people also love it. Letting go is hard, as is the fear that someone will reject or even not utterly love your creation. (I've known some authors to keep revising for years rather than face this.)

Good luck, little book.

And now... to something completely different.

Oh, BTW, it would appear that SLOW TRAIN TO ARCTURUS won the sf novel P&E poll. Thank you very much to all who voted for it!

8 comments:

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

I love your comment about writers needing two things at once. They need the ability to slough off criticisms about their book/writing while caring passionately and feeling deeply.

Isn't that the truth!

Cheers, R.

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

And Congratulations on winning the SF P&E Poll!

Dave Freer said...

Thank you, Rowena. I have this theory about writers often being like cast-iron pots. They cook the best food, they can take fierce heat and re-radiate it slowly and steadily so the meal in them is cooked not burned. They're as hard as... iron, in their will and convicition. But just like cast iron they're actually very fragile. If you hit steel or aluminum it bends, often dents. Cast iron doesn't bend or dent. Either things bounce off, or they break. That's so many authors that I know.

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Trust a writer to come up with such a good analogy!

Sarah A. Hoyt said...

I love the cast iron analogy. I've just chosen to assume I was nuts. I'd much rather think of myself as iron.

Of course, this brings to mind mom's comment to me which was a great part of my training. "Iron women don't cry. Other women and men even are allowed to cry, but we aren't. If we started crying, we'd rust, and then who'd hold the family together?"

Perhaps I should change it to "Iron writers don't cry. If we rusted, who'd hold mythos together?"

Sarah

Pati Nagle said...

Congrats on the poll win!

John Lambshead said...

Congratulations!
well deserved.
J.

Dave Freer said...

Thank you all. The praise is due to the network, not me.