Sunday, 2 August 2009

Are Writers Needy?

'You run into them [writers] at cocktail parties and have to bluff you way through. Writers, honestly, a lot of them are really nice, but they're so f*****g needy. They need constant validation.'

Quote From Too Close To Home' by mystery writer, Linwood Barclay

Hmmm . . .so does this mean he doesn't need validation and resents those writers who do, or is he taking the rise out of himself? If the former, I suppose having two 'Bestsellers' is validation enough that you have achieved status in your work and don't require the approval of others.

Writing, as every writer knows, is a solitary occupation and you have no idea if what you are writing is mildly acceptable or even plain rubbish until someone else reads it. The normal course of events for a writer is a pile of, 'Not For Us' letters, or you may be genius/lucky enough to get an acceptance. Even then, once a book is on the shelves, it may or may not sell well according to the marketing it gets.

Is it any wonder we need someone to tell us we have got it right? - that we would like to know if someone not only read, but enjoyed the work we spent months, even years living with? If that means I require validation - absolutely.

I don't, however believe everyone is going to like my stories for reasons of plot, setting, conclusion, my characters, the fact there is no exlicit sex [!] etc. Everyone has different tastes and a certain story or character will appeal to some and not others.

I'm still trying to work out if Mr Barclay was serious or not.

4 comments:

Glynis said...

I do not believe I am a needy writer. I think I will be thrilled to learn at least one person liked my book, (when written). I do not expect every reader to be satisfied, but if just one validates it is what they had hoped for when they bought it, I will be over the moon. Okay, maybe I have a little needy in me LOL

Augustina Peach said...

Sad to say, I am definitely needy - but I try hard to hide it! It's getting harder, though. The first several people who read my manuscript liked it (happy, happy! Maybe I AM a good writer!), but lately I've given it to two people who I know didn't even read it. They forgot about it. I've had to ask for it back (sad, sad...I'm such a bad writer people won't even READ my work). That really feeds the neediness.....but I must resist.....

Dara said...

I used to think I wasn't a needy writer, but then realized I crave my story's acceptance. But it's for the same reasons you require validation. I know many people may not like my story simply because of the setting and/or plot. Harsh comments hurt but then I realize that writing is subjective and what appeals to some will not appeal to others.

Still, I love receiving glowing comments on my stories :)

Patricia Koelle said...

I think the more I write, the less needy I get. What I do need is the kick when writing. the flash that tells me, the sentences I just created are good, better than the ones before...:-)
Patty
http://picturesnadpoetry.wordpress.com

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