As a fresh faced newbie writer you can find yourself believing that everyone will LOVE what you write.
In your head everyone (let me just emphasize everyone) will buy your first book and be thinking about it for weeks after reading it. Why wouldn’t they? You are shiny new writing talent.
So, picture this, there you are lying on your sofa daydreaming about EVERYONE reading and loving your debut novel. You got a bit over excited earlier with the daydream and have now been forced to lie still, hugging your manuscript, with a cold damp flannel over your forehead.
Cut your loved one’s helpful comment:
“You do understand that your first book might not be everyone’s cup of tea don’t you love?”
Cue your garbled scream and the cold damp flannel being flung across the living room:
“What are you saying? You mean my book won’t appeal to EVERYONE?”
How dare your loved one ‘party poop’ your newbie literary dreams and fantasies!
What a difficult literary moment this is for you!
Their comment lingers in your head for ages, bit like an annoying fly.
When you finally choose to digest what your loved one said you find yourself letting out a loud sigh, placing your head in your hands and taking some long solitary walks in the rain.
Your loved one does have a point.
Here are some things I considered when coming to terms with the “your first novel might not be everyone’s cup of tea” comment:
1. Every reader has their preferred literary genre. Some readers will sample other genres and some will refuse to point blank. My book might not appeal to readers of other genres.
Take a close female relation of mine who only reads steamy romantic fiction and refuses to read anything else. I know for a fact she is not going to read my thriller because it’s not her preferred genre. In my book there are no pulse racing romantic moments and the plot does not revolve around two beautiful characters trying to get together.
2. Some readers will not like the sound of my book from the blurb. As I am writing a dark thriller not eveyone is going to want to read about someone being imprisoned in an attic.
With my female relative, she likes her steamy romance novels to be fun, flirty and full of tender kisses under umbrellas, outside restaurants or on tropical beaches. She will not want to read something set in a dusty attic with no kissing action going on.
3. We all have different writing styles. There are some fantastic authors out there who produce amazing books and yet I find myself struggling with their style of writing. Some readers might not warm to my writing style.
My close female relative likes her authors to keep things simple and straight to the point with their style of writing. She doesn’t want detail and relies on her authors to ‘cut to the chase’ in certain romantic scenes. My writing style wouldn’t suit her as I struggle to keep things simple at the best of times.
4. The first novel might not be that good. Gasp! A tough one to get your head around if you are a newbie writer. Some writers develop over time and grow with each novel.
Trying to come to terms with this involves some long solitary walks, several glasses of wine, a box of chocolate and a lot of tears.
5. Its better to be realistic about my first book as opposed to living in literary fantasy land (where I spend a lot of my time).
So the loved one was right, my book won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. Sigh! I feel grateful to have been blessed with such a wise loved one.
photo credit: Stocksnap