As of Wednesday, March 25, 2015, The Hunted became an officially completed fourth draft! For the first time ever, someone other than myself will read the entire manuscript, and soon other beta readers will follow… and I am more nervous than I had expected.
The Hunted turned out to be an experimental piece–I knew where it was going, but the darkness and intensity of the piece surprised me as I was writing. I poured everything I am into the first draft, ignoring the sinking doubt that whispered, it’s not good enough, not good enough, not good enough… During the subsequent drafts, I allowed that nagging worry to help me purposefully shape the story and prose into (hopefully) something beautiful. I did not allow myself to listen to that nasty, fearful voice while I was writing, but now, waiting for the feedback from my first reader, I am definitely a bit scared.
Although I definitely write for myself, as all writers do, I also write to share with others. And to work on a story for almost a year to discover that it does not live up to readers’ expectations, that you do not live up to readers’ expectations, is a terrifying possibility. Although you tell yourself that others’ opinions do not matter, you are lying to yourself. When you finish the story, let go of this blinding beauty and mighty song that has been building in your head and heart for the last who-knows-how-many months, the truth bleeds through.
You are afraid of failure.
More than that, afraid of rejection.
But you desire honesty even more.
Once you reconcile yourself with this, the feedback process becomes much less painful. Not completely painless, but bearable, and perhaps even enjoyable. I desire honest feedback above all else; how I deal with that feedback will come later. I do want to know if I have achieved my goal or not, or if I have unwittingly achieved a different one. Daring to fail is part of being an artist. And in the end, you never truly fail.
I truly am excited to share The Hunted with you all, no matter what the results may be! The following are a few quotes about art, risks, and mistakes. I hope you are encouraged as I was.
“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” -Scott Adams
“Go and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make. Good. Art.” -Neil Gaiman
“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” -Joseph Chilton Pierce
“We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents.” -Bob Ross