Screw the Thick Skinned Nonsense.

You know, since writing has become a thing I do I often hear/read/ happen upon the phrased "thick-skinned" when referring to authors. 

There are many pep talks about bucking up, strapping in and bearing down. It's almost like writing is akin to taking a dump on the space station. 




And I get it. Obviously, I'm not the brightest bulb in the crayon box but I realize other authors are preparing the new ones. You will sit and create a life that lives between pages. Each sentence is carefully groomed and polished. The paragraphs wear their best coats and crisp, new shoes as you step back and lovingly send it into the street. 




You're maybe picturing a street lined with apple trees and sweet mailboxes and the occasional squirrel scampering around. And honestly the street is a fourteen lane highway bordered by hookers and an angry mob with sticks and flaming bags of poo. Your sweet little precious story is going to be trampled, kicked in the nuts, given long, hard, wet noogies. 




And as an author you are supposed to stand there, clasp your hands and hold a smile on your face. Nod understandingly when your story limps back holding its privates, snot running down its face crying.






Butt I say this: Don't get a thick fucking skin. Don't. I mean, for serious, don't fall down screaming like an asshole, but you can let the negatives wound you. If you're writing from the correct place in your body, you most likely have access to your emotions. If you have a story that means anything to you, your soul is like a giant fish tank at Petco. (You know, the feeder fish :( )


And you skim what you need off the top. While you're not writing, your soul is laying there open like the fish tank.  You're going to feel shit, absorb stuff, get sneezed in. So if someone gives your story a wedgie, you're going to commiserate with it and that's okay.


No really, let it burn for a few minutes. You earned it. With that job comes an equally important one. When something good happens, you have to fold that into you as well. The positive energy is three times as important as the negative, even if at times it's just you patting your own damn self on the back.


Have skin that needs a lot of hypoallergenic product and sun block. Be likely to develop skin tags from chaffing. Because whether someone pokes your book with a needle or tickles it with a feather, if you're not feeling it, then you might be doing something wrong. 


Word.

5 comments:

  1. I get what you're saying. I do.

    The problem is most folks don't have the heart to allow their skin to be flayed from their body and keep returning for repeats. If you CAN, great, but that's not for everyone. I know wonderful writers who, never having developed that hide, have abandoned this stirring within them. Because the pain was great and their skins unable to withstand the wounds.

    If your sunblock is enough, then that is fantastic. But some folks just need to develop that hide, IMO. Writing for public consumption is brutal and it's not just for masochists. ;-) Not that there's anything WRONG with them. :D

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  2. Brilliant insight into the writer's soul. I really like this post - cuz, yeah, if we make ourselves stop feeling, we're going to have to start writing math books instead of romance. And I do NOT want to write math books.

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  3. So true! Every word counts--it's how you react that matters. So well said! :)

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  4. @Sandy I think that we all have to do what we can to get through the fairly lonely process of locking yourself to a computer for years at a time! Haha. Thanks for dropping by. I heart you.

    @Nicki Me and Math do not get along so I'm totally with you.

    @Carol I love your adorable face. You make everything prettier.

    @Rachel Hey baby! Thanks for popping by. :) <3

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