Coming to Terms With My First Novel Might Not Be Everyone’s Cup of Tea #Writer #writerslife



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.
Happy writing!

photo credit: Stocksnap

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I am a blonde writer of romantic comedy fiction.

68 thoughts on “Coming to Terms With My First Novel Might Not Be Everyone’s Cup of Tea #Writer #writerslife

  1. hard truth, but once you’ve accepted the truth, it’s so much easier to move on and move forward! 🙂 Glad to see the fantasy lives on yet has been tempered by a shot of reality. Makes it all that much more believable. Or so I’ve heard. hahaha

    1. This is exactly how I roll. Novel is not finished, and I have already accepted the fact that there is a good chance only I will know and love these characters like I do. Strangely enough, thats okay too.

  2. Whenever I talk to writers about to publish for the first time, I always suggest they go to Amazon and read the one-star reviews of To Kill A Mockingbird. It really helps drive home the truth that there is no such thing as a universally loved book, that some people won’t enjoy yours, and that this is a good thing.

  3. I would secretly hate that loved one for a moment, and then (maybe eventually) get my feet back on the ground for a bitter reality check. I enjoyed this, it serves as a great a reminder. 🙂

      1. And I guess the importance is to come to terms with it. To keep writing despite of the fact that “your first novel might not be for everyone.”

  4. I had my first article published in a magazine when I was 25, and my mother wouldn’t read it as it was about the funeral arrangements and the strange location of the remains of lots of famous people like Eva Peron and D. H Lawrence, etc, and she said it looked morbid. Personally I think she should have sucked it up and read it anyway, I would have for my kid, but hey, like you say, some people just don’t like stuff. Personally I am never completely happy with anything I write, but the new shiny ideas I get when one project ends make it impossible to not keep writing 🙂

  5. I love this! I have felt the same way too and have even tried to tone down my own writing to accommodate what I think everyone will like…… until it becomes way too plain and inauthentic. There is freedom in realizing we don’t have to impress everyone with our book — now you can channel your energy into writing the most spectacular book you can for the (very large) subset of people who will adore it 🙂

  6. So very true – and I know you know I’ve had to deal with the same thing. But you’ll never please ‘all the people’ – however brilliant your novel. Dylan’s point re To Kill a Mockingbird is well made. For what it’s worth, your novel sounds right up my street!

  7. Lol. My best piece of writing to date is a novella about sexual abuse told from several perspectives, the main one being the perspective of the pedophiles. I think it is great writing and I am so proud of it but I had to come to terms that whilst most people want to read what I write, they couldn’t get through this one lol. If only ppl could push the content to the side and marvel at my writing talent 😜

  8. God Bless our Loved Ones as they are both wise and reality based. *sigh*
    Mine does the same for me. Keeps my feet on the ground. Dream dashers that they are, it’s better to hear it from them, than strangers, I think. I have been struggling a bit with this myself lately when I found out my own son’s weren’t reading my blog. Well now I know I can write about them. ha ha
    And then I find out one of my close friends hasn’t even read one of my blog posts. I truly “love” the support of family and friends…

  9. I don’t give my loved ones my writing because I might not love them anymore. I just put it out on the internet and those who love it can find me like I found you! 🙂

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