Thursday, February 10, 2011
Pick, Pick, Pick
I actually had a different picture in mind - I was thinking more of that old Perdue commercial about people picking from a chicken over the course of a few days. (I am dating myself terribly - that was from 1985, y'all.) But you know what? Pictures of a plate of nasty chicken bones are really sorta gross.
No. I give you the weirded out cat.
Anyway, my neurosis is often a sort of compulsive urge to revisit the scene of the crime. Case in point - let's take reviews. My book came out a few weeks ago, and of course I've heard all sorts of advice - don't read the reviews...do read the reviews...etc. etc.
So, yes. I read the reviews. The good. The bad. The ugly.
I don't respond to them publicly, of course. I might whine a little to my fellow word whores behind the scenes, but I still continue to look at them. In fact, I tend to reread them multiple times (especially the bad ones.) It sounds like it would be a bit destructive, and maybe it is - but I've actually found that the more I read them, the less it stings. Eventually they stop hurting and I can look at them more objectively.
Of course I do the same thing with revision letters and CP notes. I don't know if it's one of those things where words have power or what, but it seems to be one of the only ways I can really process them. Maybe it's just a defense mechanism.
I tend to do it with other things in my life as well, particularly things that are hurtful. Sometimes it's blissfully numbing. Sometimes I do it in small pieces until I can absorb it as a whole for what it is.
Sometimes it backfires terribly and I obsess about it until even *I* realize it's not doing me any good. (And yeah, maybe there's a masochistic streak in me somewhere that likes the self-infliction of pain. Who knows?)
At any rate, I'm not sure if the review thing is good or bad, but I suspect I'm going to need to stop reading them soon, because I can totally see where giving them too much power doesn't exactly help the creative process of writing. In fact, I imagine it can give you a case of verbal paralysis - are you writing the story you want to write? Or are you writing a story you think will give you good reviews? The doubts come slinking in and they can be quite terrible.
But hey - look what I found!