Thursday, July 30, 2009
Rhys on Florida and Fragile Egos
Rhys in Florida, finding a hasty minute to create Friday's blog. I'm teaching at the Anhinga Writer's Conference in Gainesville and after that I'm going to be touring Florida with Mary Anna Evans, speaking in Orlando, Vero Beach, Palm Beach, Delray Beach and Sarasota. So far, as on most of my travels these days, I've only seen the inside of a hotel and a bookstore. But at some stage I'm hoping to encounter a beach. I'm definitely a beach person. I love to swim, I love the feel of warm water splashing over me. I am a passionate snorkeler and I love just walking along the beahc, feeling tension melt away. So I'm hoping for a few moments to escape during the next week. And maybe some chance to be with nature too. I've never seen a Matatee in the wild. Or a pink ibis.
But this wasn't what I wanted to blog about today. I was thinking of a non-fan letter I got this morning, telling me I'd got something wrong in my book. You'd think by now that I had become thick skinned about criticism. I haven't. I uuspect most writers have fragile egos like mine. Any hint of a bad review can send me into depression for days. If someone doesn't like the book,or even isn't glowing with praise about it, I walk around muttering to myself that the end is nigh and I'll probably never write another decent book again as long as I live. I know I should have a big banner over my desk saying, "It's just one person's opinion. It's just one person's opinion and she might have frightful taste in clothes and men as well." But I can't. It does matter. My book, after all, is like my child. It's like someone coming up to the stroller and peering and saying, "My God, but your kid is ugly."
I suppose I've always had a fragile ego. Okay, I confess that I clean my house before the house cleaner comes, just in case the cobweb in the corner is too unacceptable for a normal human being. I rush around tidying up even when one of my daughters is coming over. Oh, and I wash my hair before I go to the hairdresser.
So Jungle Reds--are you immune to criticism. Do you clean your house before the cleaning lady comes? Am I the only neurotic among us?
And just think positive thoughts for me that there will be no hurricanes!