Some of the comments I received for my first novel.
Did these bother me? At first . . . Of course!
But now I own them. I embrace them. I find pleasure in those demeaning words.
And I’ll admit—it was my first novel. It’s not perfect.
From the beginning, I have always written for myself. Always.
And let me tell you, that is my greatest secret. It sounds self-centered, but it’s true. I would never lie.
I get so much joy and fulfillment when I write. I would never let someone else’s words stop me.
As I first put pen to paper, my greatest fear was that I wouldn’t be able to write on an intellectual level. I’m not well educated in the ways of the world—I live under a rock. Which is why I write fantasy. I also feared my limited vocabulary would be a hindrance. Even today, I work to expand my knowledge. My one thought—if I could write something as well as my idol, Brandon Mull, who writes for young adults, that would be satisfactory enough for me.
I’m still working on that.
As for the comments. "Sadly unoriginal." My fantasy world has the typical elements. Dragons, magic, little people, fey, themes of light vs dark, good vs evil. I can see how these are the usual tropes. But I invented a new race—beings who harness light from their Creator. That’s huge for me.
"Childish?" Well, that’s a matter of perspective. I can see how my characters’ desires of the heart could be childish or even trivial. But love is a basic human need, and we all struggle to understand it. I can’t tell a story without romance. It’s what I love. If you want an intellectual read, you know where to find them.
This world is full of opinions. The only two that matter are yours and God’s. If you’re writing true to yourself, stand tall, stand proud.
And keep putting that pen to paper.