While I've titled this 'the other side of books', this blog post can apply to any of the creative arts. Ever since becoming a published author, I've gained a whole new respect for anyone who makes this leap. The moment you put something you've created out into the world, is the moment all your walls come crashing down. Not by you, but by everyone who is now there to judge you. And judge you they will.
Recently, a girl in one of my Facebook writing groups admitted that anxiety and fear was getting in the way of her writing. What followed was a slew of encouragement from other writers, most of who suffer from the same thing. However, these were fellow writers, and not the general public. That's the difference. It showed me that most creatives have a tendency for deep insecurities, yet we've put ourselves in a situation that's asking for ridicule. It's not an easy route to take, and it's probably the biggest reason why most people never end up sharing their creations. I wonder how many amazing books are stored on computers all around the world. It's sad to think that most of these will never get seen.
People forget that there is an actual person behind a book (or creation). They don't see the excitement, the fears, the endless hours of work that goes into it. They don't see the human side to it. So far, I've been lucky with my books, but that's probably because I'm still new to it. My reviews have been great, and mostly positive. Some have been so wonderful they have reduced me to happy tears (and awkward little dances at my desk). I never understood the joy someone would get from a good review until now. I've had one bad review, one little one star on Goodreads that shattered my fragile heart. I quickly went through some famous authors, like Stephen King, to see what reviews they got. In King's one book he had something like 2000 one star reviews. As ridiculous as this was, it made me feel a bit better. Sure, I know we all have different tastes. What I love you might hate, and that's okay. But there's a way of putting your point across while still remembering the person on the receiving end. You don't have to like something, but you don't have to slate it either. Be kind, people. Be kind.
It’s sad that we live in a world where we’re so frightened to share something of ourselves for fear of what others might say. So, for those who have put their work out there regardless of this, I salute you. Let’s be brave (or at least pretend to be) together.