2 Lessons I learned by Amanda Gigi Bedzrah
A few days ago I had a somewhat interesting experience. I had made myself a nice cup of tea as all good English people do, I grabbed a book which I had bought a week before and prepared to tuck in and enjoy myself, getting lost in the authors world and trying to find myself in this book that promised so much.
I was immediately drawn to the book by it's cover, it had a beautiful cover, the narrative on the back engaged me as well. You know when someone describes in words exactly how you are feeling? That feeling. There was a promise of answers within pages. A self help book that I was sure would change my life. I was hooked on the promise.
And then ...... disappointment gripped me much tighter than the red roll neck jumper I was wearing.
I was three chapters into the book and nothing, absolutely nothing about what I was reading made sense to me. I don't know why, but I just could not connect with the book. I tried to understand if it was the style of writing, or the content. Or maybe it was just a slow starting book and I needed to persevere.
As an author myself, I often feel obliged to read the books of other authors, particularly if they are authors I have met and know (which was the case with this book). I felt like to not read the book would be some kind of betrayal, I tried to put myself in the authors shoes, knowing that I too would want other authors to give me a chance.
By the middle of the book, it was clear that the book was not getting better. I made the painful decision to put it down. I continued to ponder on this experience and that was when the light bulb moment for me happened.
The lesson I learnt is that not every book is for everyone, but every book is for someone. Just because I could not connect with the book doesn't make the authors work invalid or unnecessary, it simply means - it just was not for me.
This really helped me put things into perspective and I think it was a necessary lesson for me to learn. What I had not said earlier is that weeks prior to this incidence, I had received some negative feedback about one of my books and it had left me feeling very sad, discouraged and confused.
Now, I can appreciate the comment and the feedback I had received, take it on the chin and understand that not every book is for every one, but every book is for someone.
So here are the two lessons I learned -
1. It is okay for me to not like a book every book - now that I think about it, it would be impossible anyway.
2. It is okay for others to not like my book also - not everyone will, not everyone should but someone will and that someone is worth the writing.
Our job as authors is to find our someone, find our tribes and serve them well. And when we do get negative feedback, perhaps we can see them as not so negative after all, perhaps we can simply agree that they are not from our tribe. (except of course if it's comments around grammar, poor editing or the likes).