Monday, May 2, 2022

Wise words from J.R.R. Tolkien concerning other people's opinions of The Lord of the Rings, which I think all writers should take to heart and remember in the face of critical reviews, publisher rejections, etc. (from the foreword to LotR):

"As a guide I had only my own feelings for what is appealing or moving, and for many the guide was inevitably often at fault. Some who have read the book, or at any rate have reviewed it, have found it boring, absurd, or contemptible; and I have no cause to complain, since I have similar opinions of their works, or of the kinds of writing that they evidently prefer. 

But even from the point of view of many who have enjoyed my story there is much that fails to please. It is perhaps not possible in a long tale to please everybody at all points, or to displease everybody at the same points; for I find from the letters that I have received that the passages or chapters that are to some a blemish are all by others specially approved.

The most critical reader of all, myself, now finds many defects, minor and major, but being fortunately under no obligation either to review the book or to write it again, he will pass over these in silence."

A word from myself to readers: writing a novel is hard. It is a grind. I like to compare it to running a marathon: long, grueling, and at the end you kinda feel like either throwing up or passing out. (That being said, it is also incredibly fun and exhilarating and when it's over you're glad you did it.) And any author, no matter how intelligent or experienced, will make mistakes that will not be caught by even several rounds of editing. So I hope that you passionate, observant readers will cut us authors a little slack and forgive us our minor lapses, inconsistencies, and logistical holes. We are only mortal--to write a perfect book is simply beyond our current capacity. That you enjoy the overall experience of the book is what ultimately matters more to us than producing a 100% error-free product. (Believe me, we're good enough at beating ourselves up about mistakes we never noticed until after publication.)

Also, I want to take the opportunity to apologize for things being so quiet lately. I've been dealing with a bout of ill health and some general life craziness that hasn't left any time or energy for creative endeavors. I'm on the mend now, and hoping to get another Neopets fic up soon. Take care, everybody.

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