By a show of hands how many of you admit to being neurotic? see definitions below. OK, grudgingly, I raise my hand—half way. I am neurotic but only in one aspect of my life–the writing part. I’m shocked really to learn I have this disorder. I am usually the clam cool collected one, the person who allows no one’s opinion to matter. I am the go to person for others who need a pep talk. I have never bothered with what others think of me or even say about me. My reaction has always been a shrug of my shoulders and the mantra, everyone is entitled to their opinion and theirs doesn’t matter to me so why get upset about it? I am in a nutshell a pretty damn secure and confident individual. But this whole writing thing has brought to surface a part of me I had no idea existed, and I do not like it! Here’s the thing: several writer friends and I have often snickered behind the neurotic author friends we know, backs. Why? Because we would never become so, cringe, insecure.
Do you know what I find myself doing oh, say at least 25,000 times a day now? I google my name and the title of my novella STAKEOUT to see what reviews have popped up. Is that sick? I tell myself I don’t care what the reviewers say, bring it on, let me have it with both barrels. They are just one person’s opinion. I don’t know them so why should I care about what some stranger says about my book? I don’t care, I don’t, I don’t. Riiiight. I guess, I do care. And it bugs the crap out of me. I don’t want to care. I’ve pondered this. Why do I care about what someone thinks of my stories. Hmm, maybe it’s because in every story there is a part of me woven into the characters or the plot. Maybe if enough people don’t like what I write it will affect my sales. And if it affects my sales it will affect whether or not my publishers are going to want my next book. Maybe there is just this teeny tiny part of me that wants to know I done good. That I entertained, that I took someone out of their reality and into my fantasy, and with that gave them pleasure. I want to pleasure my audience. I don’t want to let them down. If you plunk down 14 bucks for my book, I don’t want it to go flying against a wall at any time. I suppose when it is all said and done, maybe opinions aren’t such a bad thing. I know I like it better when my CP’s get out the whip and ride my ass when I’m being lazy. Maybe reviews are the same. Letting an author know you done good or you’d best get back to the keyboard and make your next story better or you’ll be looking for a day job pretty soon.
I love writing, and I know I will survive my neurosis, and it will make me stronger and a better writer. I hope one day to shrug it all off and not care what the reviewers think, but I’m afraid if that happens I may lose touch with my readers. There is nothing worse than arrogance in this business. So maybe, I’ll keep that little neurotic side of me close enough to have control of it, but far enough away to allow it to keep my arrogance at bay.
Main Entry: neurotic
1 : one affected with a neurosis
2 : an emotionally unstable individual (Hey! I resemble this remark! But only when it comes to the writing industry!)
Main Entry: neu·ro·sis
Pronunciation: nu-‘rO-s&s, nyu-
Inflected Form(s): plural neu·ro·ses /-“sEz/
Etymology: New Latin
: a mental and emotional disorder that affects only part of the personality, is accompanied by a less distorted perception of reality than in a psychosis, does not result in disturbance of the use of language, and is accompanied by various physical, physiological, and mental disturbances (as visceral symptoms, anxieties, or phobias)