Every great author has a group that thinks their writing stinks. Greatness is an opinion, and you’ll never find 100% agreement. Some will like your work, and others will hate it. Guess what? Humility is needed here.
I recently read where a now famous author took over a decade to get a book published and that was after more than a dozen different works submitted. Now, he sells millions and millions on his name alone. What did he do a couple of years ago? He criticized a new author who made it big on her first novel. Whoa! There was a time when no one thought your stuff was worth publishing. Shut up!
Humility is essential for a writer. First of all, you’ll be rejected a lot. If your name is not well known or you don’t have a contact in a publishing company, odds are your work will be tossed in a pile to be ignored. Second, once the editors get a hold of your book, you might feel like they are attacking you. No, they are trying to make it better. Third, you’ll find there are bad reviews. You’ll get them. Not everyone will like your story or your style. You’re not the all-loving author. No one is.
Think about it. Charles Dickens is one of the most proclaimed writers ever. Do you like his work? A lot will say no. He didn’t appeal to everyone. Tom Clancy is not loved by everyone (though I might have to fight you over that one). Stephanie Meyers has found recent fame with her novels, but large numbers don’t like her work. Then why do it?
Because you love writing! You should write because you feel the urge and you have a passion for it. Don’t write to please anyone. Write to please yourself. Also, who says the negative ones are right? It’s all opinion. As long as you are happy with your work, keep writing.
You might think I saying that because I’m not in that position. Really? How would you feel if close family members read your stuff and said, “It’s alright but not my style”? What if they didn’t read any of your stuff because it just wasn’t bestselling material yet? Welcome to my world.
I know I’m not a writer who will be proclaimed as one of the greatest. I’m not trying to be. I know I can improve. And even if I did become as famous as Stephen King, John Grisham, or Danielle Steele, I would always find areas of improvement.
Do you want to succeed as a writer? Have humility but don’t let it take you where determination and confidence can’t reach you.