Friday, February 16, 2007
It's hard to write a book. And not necessarily for the reasons you think.
Popular wisdom holds that fiction writers struggle with periods when the muse does not visit or the creative well is dry. This is certainly a real and pervasive problem for some fiction writers. But it's just the beginning of the hell that awaits them after they are published.
Add to that struggle the disturbing eventuality of getting published and then having the unwashed masses take potshots at what took you weeks, months, or even years to create, polish, edit, and refine. If they don't understand your finely honed nuances or your incredibly clever plot twists, you and your book are villified and maybe you will have trouble earning money by being creative in the future.
Non-fiction, however, poses a somewhat different but equally irritating set of problems. It is far less dependent on visitations from the unpredictable muse but it does rely heavily on the writer's knowledge of the book's subject matter. Even if you thought you knew exactly what you'd write about and felt confident in your depth and breadth of knowledge to take the topic on, at some point during the writing, you will experience panic attacks of varying degrees because you will question whether you really know enough to write an entire book.
I faced such a question when I wrote YOUR EROTIC PERSONALITY. Suddenly, I was questioning everything I thought I knew, anticipating the "she doesn't know what she's talking about" criticisms that probably every writer gets (regardless of whether she actually does know anything about her subject matter!
So, when The Erotic Woman's review of my book came out this week, I breathed a sigh of relief. They gave it a glowing review, for which I am eternally grateful.
One down, approximately 50 more reviewers to go... Do they make a version of Valium especially for writers, I wonder? If so, I may consider acquiring a few thousand doses.