does not describe me fully
it is where to start

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Sunday, December 18, 2011

“It’s business. It’s not personal.”

“It’s business. It’s not personal.” How often has one heard that? I admit the usefulness of the concept. Decisions made under the spell of emotion and private urges do not always bode well for the greater good.

But, does downplaying the personal bode well for a writer of fiction? Except for formulaic writing, what is fiction except a personal statement? Then, having written the story, what additional obligation does an author have to his readers? How much of his personal life should the author reveal?

In my case, my writing has been influenced by my unique life story, including culture, religion, business career, and overcoming illness. Those influences individually, though, are not what I find compelling about my life story. Instead, I find compelling how I have built bridges across them. Indeed, the challenge of building bridges is usually at the heart of the conflicts addressed in my fiction.

There is, however, no fiction market segment called “Building Bridges.” I have always believed that I could rely on the content of my writing to reveal my unique perspective to the world. I wonder, though, if I have missed a bet in connecting with readers. After all, what starts off as a country song can cross over into the more general market. It might not pull that off, though, if not already successful in the country arena.

I also remind myself that once the product has left the computer and forays into the commercial world, it is no longer solely a personal statement but, indeed, a business. And, business requires identifying market segments.

My head hears that. My heart resists. Could insistence on the theme of "Building Bridges" ever work? Or should I just go the expected route and self identify focused solely on culture or religion or business or overcoming illness or something else? Will my choice make any difference in how my writing is received? And, in marketing my work, how much of Judith Mercado should be revealed to motivate someone to buy my work?

This last question, by the way, is what prompted me to write this post after a recent encounter with someone who had not realized the role illness had played in my life. He did not realize it because I never talked about it. So it got me to thinking about what an author's obligation is to his readers. The result is this post. Obviously, I have not answered my own question.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Nerve Wracking

So my novel’s manuscript has gone out to my readers. Second guessing is now in full force. They will hate it! How embarrassing. What was I thinking? Such is my internal chatter.

Okay, so I am sure they will find glimpses of good writing. They might even think it well written. But, they might not. And, as I wait, there is little I can do. The book has been sent out. It is no longer under my protection. It has been exposed to the cold light of day. Can I handle it?

Have you ever felt this way?