Happy week before the week of Christmas. As you should have already heard, Legacy of the Dragonwand part 1 is out, came out last Tuesday and has enjoyed decent sales and two very good reviews already. But, that aside, I hate it.
"But you wrote it?" You might ask, you could also say, "you want us to buy something you hate?" or "why do you hate it?" or....okay, enough with the questions..sheesh is this some kind of interrogation?
Anyway, I don't hate it now. But I wanted to tell you a little about what it feels like to be an artist. Some artists, not all but some, have mixed feelings when they create. As I was writing Legacy of the Dragonwand I had ups and downs in my feelings toward the story. I worried that it absolutely stunk, had no chance, no one would read it...and so on. The truth is I was worried that it would not live up to the expectations I had already placed on it before I wrote it.
I have heard from non-authors that they think that authors are arrogant about their work. It is a logical deduction considering how hard an author is forced to promote themselves and their work. It could easily appear as ego when it's just trying to sell books. Now I have known some authors with giant ego's about themselves and their work, but they are actually in the minority. Truthfully an author worries that every last word is wrong, that something in the text wasn't written right, or that there is a small but problematic plot hole that they missed.
Honestly I do the same thing with my artwork, my embroidery, my stage work, anything that is artistic of mine I have moments of dislike over it during creation. I almost gave up on the book cover for Legacy of the Dragonwand and just went with something generic from Amazon. Ask the people who have commissioned work for their covers, like the Kai's journey series. They will all tell you that on more than one occasion I told them that it wasn't going to be good and they wouldn't like it.
In the end, though, things change. Once the completed work is sitting before me I love it. Yes I can still fix it, work on it, even fuss over the tiny details that may or may not be a problem. But, as a whole I am satisfied.
I am not alone: Here is a story I read that confirmed that even some of histories greats have gone through this.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, who wrote the famous ballet The Nutcracker, in his own words
said that it was "far weaker than 'The Sleeping Beauty'- no doubt about it" and when he finished the score, he even called it "all ugliness". But the composer eventually grew to like his creation and wrote "Strange that when I was composing the ballet I kept thinking that it wasn't very good, but that I would show them what I can do when I began the opera. And now it seems that the ballet is good and the opera not so good"
(note: he was promised the freedom to write and produce an opera if he finished the Nutcracker, which was a commissioned work.)
If a giant of artistry can go through such ups and downs emotionally over his own creation, especially something as fantastic as The Nutcracker, then I am not alone.
(I am in no way comparing my meager work to the work of someone like Tchaikovsky, just using this as an example.)