I will completely admit to being one of those insecure, paranoid writers. There, I said it, mock at will. I probably shouldn’t say that at all, but what good is it blogging or talking to people if I’m not honest? I try to be honest. Even if it’s bad.
I recently requested to be part of a review thing on a great Goodreads group for YA books. I was nervous. I think everyone who’s been on Goodreads or Twitter has either seen or heard about some of problems there. Authors behaving badly, reviewers behaving badly. It can be scary. And to me, Goodreads is very intimidating. What if I say something completely innocent, like ‘Thanks!’ and people think I’m being fake? What if they think I’m [insert bad adjective here]? It’s…scary. Intimidating. Especially to me, someone who, normally, doesn’t do well in social environments.
Now, I’m not going to be one of those authors who bashes reviewers for bad or scathing reviews. It’s just not in me. I have opinions too, and I’m sure they’ll differ from a lot of people. So I expect bad reviews. I expect to have my feelings crushed and to ask myself (and my friends) why I signed up to be a writer. It’s part of the business. Bad reviews, good reviews, mixed reviews. I’ll deal with it when it happens and make sure I keep a gallon of ice cream on hand at all times.
When I said I was insecure–don’t get me wrong. I am. But that doesn’t mean I don’t love my stories. I wrote them, so of course I enjoy them. I love the characters, I love the worlds. Especially in The Breed Chronicles. I love nearly everything in the series. Even if it scares me sometimes and makes me glad I’m not training to be a demon hunter, because really, I couldn’t hack it. There, I said that, too. I wouldn’t last a week as a demon hunter in training!
Sorry, my point is this. I’m getting good reviews. This, of course, pleases me to the core. People are reading my story and they seem to be, at least right now, enjoying it. I couldn’t be happier, truly I couldn’t. …but it’s also nerve wracking, especially when you’re writing a series. I thought my biggest obstacle was going to be just writing the rest of the books. Boy, was I wrong. (I mean, that’s hard too. Starting book 02 in a series is freaking scary and complicated and full of what-ifs.)
To be honest, I didn’t realize how much pressure there would be to make book 02 as good as book 01. It needs to be a good story, regardless of its placement in the series. But when people are liking it…that ups the stakes. A lot. My stomach is a little queasy each time I get a review–especially a good one when someone shows interest in reading the second book. I now find myself worrying that it won’t be as good as the first. What if the characters aren’t developed enough? What if the plot is stupid? What if, what if, what if.
I can’t promise book 02 is going to be great. I wish I could, I really, really do. But I can’t. I do promise that I’m learning more about the world with each book, and that I’m trying–and hopefully succeeding–in honing my writing skills and making each book a little better than the last, at least in some form.
I can also promise that I won’t write a book that I don’t love. That’s the best I can do as a writer. Those are the only guarantees I can make.
Like I said in the beginning, I probably shouldn’t admit this stuff, but admitting this stuff is, well, my style. Some people like to know the author behind the books they read. So here I am, Lanie Jordan, in all my angsty glory, admitting that, The Paranoia, I Haz It.