I’m heading out to pick up groceries soon, but wanted to get this post written first.
Emotions are a funny thing. Everybody has them, even if they’re locked up, hidden away. Each of us feels things differently. What one person considers painful would barely be a stubbed toe to another.
That doesn’t mean those with the stubbed toe should dismiss the person in pain, or scream at them for overreacting.
We have free will. Whether that’s given to us by some divine being or evolution isn’t relevant. Each of us has it, though. Our experiences shape us, our perceptions change how we react. A small scene in a book or movie may make me gasp or cry, whereas another person can yawn and be bored with it.
No one can dictate how we as individuals feel. My emotions are just that. Mine. Yours belong to you. No one else should ever decided that what they want should invalidate your emotions.
I have friends I consider family. They’re part of my small inner circle, and people I know that I can call and they’ll be there if things go south. I’m stubborn enough to not call unless things were dire. Call #1 would be to the cops. Call #2 would be to my husband. Call #3-5 will be to these individuals.
I see them as sisters and brothers, family of my choosing. I love them and want nothing more than for them to be happy in life, get all the good things. Always roll a nat 20.
That doesn’t mean they feel the same way about me. And I’m okay with that.
I’ve written scenes that made me cry as I put the words to paper, or made my heart ache with the pain the character was feeling. That doesn’t mean my readers have the same reaction. As authors, we can only write the best story we can. Readers have their own emotions. They decide which character they love, and which one they hate. Each and every one is going to have a different response to my words. And I’m okay with that.
I finished up the rewrites for ‘Scales & Stingers’ last week, got the book back to my agent. I was totally floored to have a publisher on Twitter request I have her submit the m/s to them! It’s been sent, and we’re back to waiting. Patience is not something I have in abundance, but it’s what has to be in publishing.
I’m not okay with that. But I’m keeping myself busy. I can’t rush people I don’t know through their process. I can’t demand they instantly read my book, fall in love, and offer a contract. I can’t scream and throw a fit until they cower and offer me everything I could ever dream of.
That’s not how publishing works. Writing the books are, for the most part, a solo venture. The alpha & beta readers, editors, and agents….the submissions readers, the editors in chief, the acquisition editors….the in house editors, proofreaders, cover artists….those are a myriad of faces and skill sets. And the goal is the same: a book everyone’s proud of that will sell.
I don’t dictate how any of them will react to my book. I own my emotions, my space. Not theirs.
So, before you scream at someone for daring to react to a situation differently than you do, take that tiara off your head. There’s already enough discord in the world. Take a breath, step back, and try and see the world as they see it.
For the record, there are some things in my life that are absolutely non-negotiable. I don’t tolerate bigotry, racism, or any sort of discrimination. And I will never see the point of those things. To hate someone, advocate violence against them, or ban them from the same rights the rest of the citizens of my country have simply because they aren’t EXACTLY like you are is wrong. We are not a free nation until all of our citizens – native, immigrant, black, white, Asian, gay, straight, Christian, Wiccan, etc – are treated with the same courtesy and respect as anyone else.
BB/Chan Eil Eagal Orm