Authorial Intentionality

I don’t think I told you this.

I mean, about my authorial intentionality a couple years back.

It was when I was writing my Novel,

‘Meet Duff!’

I had heard before not to pay attention to the critics.

that was some great advice I picked up from some of the greatest authors I look up to.

It seemed some good advice to follow, as writing is a very insecure profession.

(you become a professional the moment you get paid for something you wrote. Even, if it’s when you get paid ‘two cents for your two cents.’)

I mean, it’s so easy to be negative, especially in this day and age.

(just take a quick look at the media.

I mean, it’s easy to tear the world down and point your finger, but

you don’t hear too much about those who are making the world a better place?

I mean, at the very least, the press isn’t giving that coverage these days

because bad news makes them a profit. It’s unfortunate there’s the profit incentive in the press and medical profession. it brings forth greed and lies. and, if you happen to be in the hospital, death. Yes, there’s money in dying. in our dying.)

that’s some good advice.

We writers are sensitive about our stuff and can become discouraged

by even one stupid remark. someone can get under our skin and tic us off, even worse. I have thought of quitting a few times because I was so discouraged.

I guess we need to develop a harder shell when it comes to criticism, right?

that’s a good idea.

(because if you do any amount of writing at all and let someone else look at it, you’re bound to get some destructive criticism, even though most people are polite and don’t actually want to tear you down.)

Anyway, I wanted feedback on my book, so I submitted a chapter.

How I know this, I can’t say, except it’s intuition, and I think a publisher looked at it.

there was a five star potential rating.

I figured I would at least get three.

I was going to be happy with that.

come to find out later, I was right…

He gave me ‘three stars.’

I figured, ‘not bad for my first novel.’

I also thought, ‘I must be in there with millions of novelists, that’s OK. At least, it seems I must be in the middle. I have a chance at becoming known.’

(one problem, I have to live long enough for that to happen. that is, becoming known. it doesn’t matter, I have retirement income. It matters less and less as time goes on. And, my ego has shrunk quite significantly from what it was, before…)

I felt good being rated ‘average.’

more truthfully, I felt somewhat ‘honored.’

He commented I needed more action and I took it to heart.

So, I eagerly gave it by changing my material and putting more action in everywhere I could.

I resubmitted the chapter sometime later

hoping a different critic would see it.

It seemed it landed on the same person’s desk.

they gave me a ‘one star’ rating.

(I changed my Novel for him and all he did was screw me over! It’s like shaving your beard off because someone said you’d look better clean shaven, and when you shaved it they said you looked better with a beard on! I have listened to that advice, too in the past. Now, I shave my beard off for no one! Well, because my wife likes me better with one. she says it makes me look, well, very ‘distinguished.’ believe me, I keep it on for her because I love her and want to make her happy. Of course, I do the yard work, take care of our pool, and just about everything else around the house, too. Believe me, Keeping the beard on is the least of my problems…)

how do I know it was the same person?

I just know.

I believe in me.

I believe in my intuition without any proof.

(I learned this before my fateful critique)

I have learned that through the years.

and, that’s what you should do.

believe what your gut tells you without proof.

it will never fail you.

(I did know somehow not to change my Novel, but gave the benefit of doubt to him/her. it was a him, though. not a her. I intuitively know this, too.)

it’s one of the only things in life you can depend on.

I know.

(If I would have listened to it on many occasions,

I wouldn’t have made the huge life changing disastrous mistakes I’ve made in life.)

what do you think that ‘one star’ rating taught me about writing?

I mean, what do you think I learned about writing poetry and my next novel?

it is this…

Do what you do, in the way you want to do it no matter what anyone else says.

(you have to please yourself.)

be determined to do all you do that way.

intend to be all you in all you do.

(that’s what people like about you. it’s what draws them to you. your uniqueness, your own style. Originality. there’s only one of you and millions of copycats. people will follow you and buy your book because they like how you write.)

that’s all you can do.

that’s what you should do.

then, things will be alright…

even, when everything goes wrong.

and, it will.

that, you can count on.

that’s authorial intentionality

personified.

If you are going to do the hard work of writing your story or whatever,

do it your way.

Remember Sinatra’s song?

‘And, I did it my way?’

that’s fine, but there are always

the given consequences thereof…

that ‘one star’ rating was a bunch of bull___t!

you never hear songs with words like

‘and, I did it their way!’

Maybe, you do.

I think they call that the

‘blues.’

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About Steven Humphreys

I live in sunny California with my beautiful wife, three wonderful cats and very handsome dog! I write a lot these days about different subjects I hope you will find interesting and informative. Thanks for your interest. Read more 'about me' on this site. Thanks for visiting!
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