Stroking the fragile Author’s ego.

28 Feb

In all the time I’ve been pursuing my writing career one thing I’ve noticed is that most authors have fragile egos. Is it any wonder when every single time we put something out there we’re leaving ourselves open for rejection. Whether it be from a CP or an editor every single time someone picks up our work we run the risk of them not liking it. Of course we argue that it’s just one person’s opinion and this is true but it doesn’t stop us from chewing are nails and sweating bullets until the verdict is in. Now you would think once that book hits the shelves we’ve got nothing to worry about, right?


I’ve found the reading world is often the harshest of critics. OMG! Can they be rough. It’s no different than an editor not liking something really but for some reason a rejection from a reader holds far more weight than any rejection from an editor I’ve ever received. But for every reader who doesn’t like a story and says so, there is another who does like it. In fact there’s often more in favor than against and yet for some reason an author often takes on that rejection, lives it and breathes it, with far more enthusiasm. They cut and slice and we bleed but for some reason we continue on. Everyone has a different way of coping with rejection. Some like to wallow in it, others like to burn it with a flame thrower and others shrug it off and take the next step without giving it much time at all. But I’ve discovered a new way to deal with rejection.

I’ve started a folder of “likes”, kinda like the ones I get on my Facebook page, and every SINGLE time I get a rejection I yank the folder from under my desk and flick through all the “likes”. I’ve got acceptance letters, fan mail and reviews in there. All in black and white where my eyes can soak them up and try to convince my brain that I’m not wasting my time like the rejection suggests. So far it’s working. Sure a rejection still stings but I can look it in a different way to when I first started sending out my work. Now I look at it as a detour or a wrong turn. I just need to get back on that other road where the goal is clear and theΒ crowdΒ is cheering me on.

Rhian Cahill

14 Responses to “Stroking the fragile Author’s ego.”

  1. Savannah Chase February 28, 2012 at 7:21 am #

    We need to have a thick skin and remember that just because one person don’t like us does not mean the world has joined them.

    • RC March 2, 2012 at 10:41 pm #

      Sometimes it feels like we should wear armour. *sigh*

  2. Marilyn Campbell February 28, 2012 at 7:27 am #

    How very very true! And an excellent suggestion – I’ve been known to post a great review on my refrigerator, an appliance that demands I look at it several times a day. Now I will hurry over to your path and wave and cheer from the sidelines… Go Rhian Go

    • RC March 2, 2012 at 10:42 pm #

      Oh, I might have to stick some to the fridge too. Or maybe above the kettle seeing how I have about 10 cups of tea a day. *grin*

  3. mywithershins February 28, 2012 at 8:59 am #

    A ‘like’ folder sounds like a great idea! I usually keep my reviews in one pile and rejection letters somewhere else. I also think the flame thrower for rejections and bad reviews is an even better idea. I’ll have to get me one of those! lol

    • RC March 2, 2012 at 10:43 pm #

      I’ve never actually used a flame thrower but I did hold a bonfire in the back yard once……..;)

  4. shannonemmel February 28, 2012 at 9:54 am #

    I LIKE that idea! πŸ˜‰

    When I get frustrated because my time is being monopolized by the day job and I am not writing as much as I want to, I re-read a couple of my “favorite reviews” to remind me why I do it…

    I think my critique partners and I practice “necessary roughness” so it leaves very little room for hurt feelings. Our unspoken creedo seems to be, “If you want someone to tell you how FABULOUS you are, ask your mother to read it. If you want to make it the best it can be then pull up a seat, hand it over and suck it up!”

    On the UP side…We love and respect each other and truly value the opinions and suggestions exchanged. We KNOW it’s not meant to be malicious, and honestly, we’d rather keep the mistakes between us and fix the problems before we send anything off to an editor for consideration.

    LOL–Good CP’s like good friends are hard to find!

    We’re used to it so we’re pretty “thick skinned” (sniffle sniffle) and we know how to listen to the suggestions and still keep the voice and the stories our own. (Waaaaaaaa!)

    I think I need to go re-read one of those reviews 😦

    Great post and as far as those “nay sayers”…

    I recommend ritual burning of their nasty comments… followed by chocolate and a nice glass of wine. (CP’s come in handy for THAT as well!)


    • RC March 2, 2012 at 10:45 pm #

      CP’s are great for building up immunity but unfortunately even that doesn’t seem to make us impenetrable. 😦

  5. mahalia2010 February 28, 2012 at 6:17 pm #

    What a great post! I take readers not liking something I’ve written worse than rejection letters. I don’t know why it’s odd because perception is always different. I do print out my fan email and when I’m having a tougher spot I’ll dig it out. I’m really a Hukuna Matata kind of girl well excpet for Home Depot who screwed up my custom paint job and I slapped a slate grey paint on thinking it’d match my blue green. πŸ˜› We all have our moments. I have two beta’s who I adore because they are so brutal I’ve literally had to grow thick skin πŸ˜› It’s all about giving our best or trying our best and enjoying the outcome of what we love to weave. I love weaving stories even if no one but me enjoys them!

    • RC March 2, 2012 at 10:46 pm #

      I’m with you! Even NO ONE wanted to read them I’d still write them. It’s what I do, who I am.

  6. flchen1 February 29, 2012 at 6:58 am #

    Good for you, Rhian–I do think that writers end up needing thick skins because no matter what, there will be someone who doesn’t like what you’ve written and will feel free to tell you that. I’m glad you’re keeping focused on the positive feedback and finding ways to keep on writing, because we fans are very happy that you do!

    • RC March 2, 2012 at 10:47 pm #

      Aw…thanks Fedora. I love having you as one of my head cheerleaders. You ALWAYS put a smile on my face. πŸ™‚

  7. Nara Malone March 1, 2012 at 9:32 am #

    I think I’m gonna start a like folder. πŸ™‚

    • RC March 2, 2012 at 10:48 pm #

      Honestly Nara it’s one of the best things I’ve done to ‘protect’ my fragile ego. πŸ˜†

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