We all see things through different eyes

I was reading a book review a bit ago (for a book I've yet to read because, though it has gotten good reviews, it just doesn't seem like my kind of book and I'd rather lighten up the TBR load a little before adding ones I'm not sure about to it), and it made me think. So many things are subjective when it comes to entertainment... movies, TV shows, and yes, books go in that category, too. I remember reading a lot of comments/blog posts/articles over the past four years about how you had to write for the market if you wanted to get anywhere in the whole publishing biz (and then a whole bunch saying to ignore that, and write from your heart), and, as I've said on here before, that makes things difficult because most times the story that etches itself into your heart has nothing to do with the market or perfect contemporary or sci-fi or fantasy plot, or whatever.

And then I thought about how readers in general can read one book and love it and someone else will think the exact opposite. And how, as a writer, you can look at someone else's work and compare it to yours and wonder how this window was opened up and things fell perfectly into place for them and now they're "famous" (whatever you deem as famous--everyone has a slightly different idea of the definition of that word), and you can get into the whole "but-why-not-yous" of hurt and jealousy, which can eat you up from the inside out. (Long version of this in my What Jealousy Really Means post).

And, as I was sitting there reading the review, I realized something. The reason most of us write is because things come to us that are near and dear to our hearts and, no matter what we do, they will not go away. (Some writers probably do write for the market only, and hey, if they get published, good for them... but I'm not talking about those writers right now.)

So, when I see something that doesn't really resonate with me, that's okay. Because guess what? It came from someone's heart. It came from that place that meant time and sweat and tears and a whole lot of editing and words and possible research and time alone in front of a notebook or journal or computer or all of those, and therefore, that makes it something. That makes it WORTH something, too. And if it's worth something, then there's no need to worry about anything else. Because it'll speak to who it's meant to speak to, and that's that. And mine will be worth something to whomever it speaks to, and that's that. And, bottom line, all of us were able to put something down on a page that continued and went and moved and breathed and swirled into a story of life and love and characters and places that will forever mean more than if we'd never taken that chance.

What I'm trying to say is, just because one book doesn't jump out at you or seem as though it's all that great, that doesn't mean it's any less important. And it also doesn't mean that yours is less or more important than someone else's, either.

We all have a different story to tell. We all see things through different eyes. We all have our own language, our own voice. And because of that, we all want to share our story with the world. That's what makes writing so special.

Be blessed,



Anne Gallagher said...

It's all subjective. Just like who you fall in love with.

Some people love my stuff, some hate it, but hey, what are you going to do. I don't write for the market, I write for me. I always have. Whoever heard of character driven 90K regency romances with no sex? That's absurd. Every agent I queried said, you gotta throw sex in there. Nope. sorry, ain't gonna happen.

In this writing life,you have to be happy doing what you're doing or else you're just going to hate it. That SOUNDS stupid, but it makes sense to me.

Jessica L. Brooks (coffeelvnmom) said...

No, Anne, it makes total sense. Sometimes I think that the market is very narrow and, at times, not that exiting. (As in, you know what to expect because they have their specifics on what they want, and that's it. Not to say that if I were offered a piece of that market pie I wouldn't take it... but that's the point... it would be because I was writing from my heart in the first place.) After I posted this, it came to me: Not everyone loves the same song. And yet, there are many hits, and tons more that never reach that part of the radar but actually end up being listened to by more people for much longer. Does the fact that only the hits *appear* to be more popular make everyone else stop writing songs? No. Because, as artists, that's what we do... we keep writing. So I loved seeing it that way. Our books are songs, too, just longer ones. And just because someone changes the channel on their radio and bypasses my book, that doesn't mean someone else isn't going to hear it and love it to pieces. :)

Lisa Schroeder said...

I'm so glad you stopped by and linked to this. Obviously I needed to read it this week! Great, great post. Thank you!

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

So true, Jessica! We have to give it our personal best and that will make what we put out important. What we like to read is so subjective. I was critical of the Junie B. Jones series on facebook the other day and this one girl was like, "I love Junie B. Jones - they were my favorite books growing up," and it helped me remember that I am not the end-all opinion on writing. ha ha! It's funny how we can trick ourselves into thinking our opinions are SO important. :)

Jessica L. Brooks (coffeelvnmom) said...


I don't know why we're all continually surprised that every reader is going to have their own unique tastes, but we are. I think it's because it's really hard, at times, to separate ourselves from the writing and simply be a reader at times. Ha ha about Junie B. Jones. Mine was the Babysitters Club--I had #1-like #50 or something. I read one every day, and started a club with my friends because of those books and everything. Imagine my chagrin when I realized (just recently) that those weren't all written by Ann Martin herself! (So glad I didn't know that as a kid... I would have been devastated!)