Is that its incredibly personal.
If you aren't big into sharing your deepest innermost thoughts with others, or you don't want to lay bare your soul and all your insecurities to the world, take it from me: DON'T WRITE.
Because that's basically what you do when you write.
Stories don't come from some invisible force outside of you.
They come from your very SOUL.
Which means, to put it badly, briefly, and vaguely, that you basically share an important piece of yourself when you share your writing with others, and you become vulnerable...ESPECIALLY when people criticize what you write.
Some of my personal experiences:
I care more about my older sister's opinion of what i write than ANYONE else. Which...is a bum deal for me, because she can be hard, cruel, and brutally honest. But still, i need to know ANNA thinks its good! I don't know why...maybe her praise is the hardest to get? Whatever the reason, i want her to love what i write. Its getting less so over the years and as i write more, but still...i want her to say 'good job!'.
Worse, MUCH worse than a tough critic is a lousy critic, who LOVES you, or even likes you remotely, and therefore won't give you any honest, useful feedback.
"Oh, its great! Fabulous! I loved every page!" (Yeah, right. You didn't even READ the whole thing, you just are too nice to say it sucked. Thanks.)
And you aren't always your own worst critic, but a lot of the time, you can be a real downer.
"I stink! Nothing i write will EVER be any good! I quit! Goodbye, pens! Farewell, Microsoft Word! I hate you! You ate my soul!" (Followed by dramatic wailing and probably a lot of junk food.)
No, no, no, no, NO!
Well....let's make ONE thing perfectly clear:
NOT EVERYONE CAN WRITE BOOKS. NOT EVERYONE CAN WRITE A N Y T H I N G.
There. MAYBE, you just don't have the Muse of Writing.
Who cares, really?
But, if you DO, if you really, really, REALLY love writing, but you just hate WHAT you write, for heaven's sake DON'T GIVE UP YOU PANSY! Fight it out! Become better by DOING IT.
Yes, you will write stuff you want to BURN (trust me, DON'T THROW ANYTHING AWAY/DESTROY MERCIFULLY! You WILL regret it...from the smoldering ashes of horrendous literature can come some pretty magical things!), but that doesn't mean you will ALWAYS suck.
And THAT doesn't mean you will EVER get published!
So...why bother writing, if, like me, you were cursed with the Muse?
I don't know.
Its like breathing.
Do or die.
Which is why I write a lousy blog, practicing for the dream moment when I can actually do something worthwhile.
So, here's to the past 7 years of writing.
Its been a fabulous, heart wrenching, wonderful, frustrating, awesome, miserable, epic, stressful, cool and devastating nightmare of a ride : ).