People’s reactions are always amazing. What one person laughs at another gets angry over. Two people hear a lie, one doesn’t believe it, the other thinks it is gospel. Two hear truth, one doubts and the other endorses it.
That’s just the tip of reaction. It applies to all types of endeavors as well. Life, politics, religion, art, writing, schooling, marriage, loyalty, are all subject to an individual’s reaction – for right or wrong.
In my day job, I make several phone calls, and am always asking for the same things from tens, hundreds, thousands of places. The exact same information and requests, the same follow-up, the same waiting. Much of what I do is even defined by a company policy, and following-up is the example I want to point to and relate to the conversation. This post is about criticism a writer receives, by the way.
This happens very, very often, and isn’t an exaggeration.
So: Day one arrives, and I have to call two companies. I leave a voicemail at both of them without speaking to anyone. Maybe it was after hours or their business was closed for lunch, etc.
Then day two arrives. Neither place has called back, and it’s required that I call again. I call number 1, and the person who answers states that they have our message, don’t call them again, and they will call back after they do their own research. I call number 2, and they profusely thank me for calling again because they either forgot to call, deleted the message, or heard my phone number incorrectly.
It doesn’t matter who I’m calling about, it could be the greatest employee both companies have ever had. It’s all about personal reaction and interpretation. I don’t have to change anything on my part, I’ve done this long enough to know that I speak the same way to each place.
It’s up to them, the person who hears you, to interpret it and decide if they like it or not. So just write the book, story, etc., and remember that there will never be a complete consensus. It may be a fact that your work is truly good. An absolute, unchangeable, fact. That doesn’t mean everyone will believe it. Just keep going.
386 words I could have used in a novel.