Last night I had a nightmare. The first of its kind. In the dream, a friend of mine at work was breaking the news to me that someone she had recommended my book to had read it and hated it! Said it was terrible, filled with errors. Of course, I was stunned speechless I was so devastated and embarrassed.
It's a no-brainer that I would I have this nightmare on the eve of my first public event as an author. The fear of my book not being well-received by others tormented me throughout the writing and publishing of my debut novel,Unfinished Business. In fact, that's the reason it took so dang long for me to finish the darn thing! And even longer for me to actually publish it.
What I've grown to understand with any art--whether it's a painting, a photograph, an article, a song, a poem, or a movie--everyone isn't going to like it. Think about it. Songs that hit the top of the music charts are loved by many, but hated by just as many. Some movies that are released, where one may wonder why in the world the actors accepted those scripts, some nominating committee is nominating them for an Oscar. Go figure. As the saying goes, "One man's trash is another man's treasure."
Fear has no place in an artist's life. The reward of art is its creation, not necessarily its warm reception by the target audience. Art has to be created, first, for the artist's satisfaction. Audience appreciation will follow. As another saying goes, "If you build it, they will come."
So I encourage all artists--writers, singers, actors, painters,etc--keep on building.