marilyn monroe

Is it worth admitting you made a mistake and trying to fix it?

Marilyn

Have you ever noticed most people are far quicker to criticize than to praise? I know it’s probably human nature, I even do it myself sometimes without wanting to, but since I was subjected to this treatment more than the average person, I learned not to be so quick to judge.

I became a writer six years ago, and like in any other job, I learned along the way. Even Nora Roberts and Stephen King have bad books. Nicholas Sparks admitted he will never publish his first two novels, because they were not as good as his later work. Unlike him, I published nearly everything I wrote. I don’t know if that’s unfortunate or not, because I learned everything I know about writing from actually making all the mistakes in the business. Sometimes I made them more than once, just to be sure I learned my lesson.  😒 But some readers don’t understand that one can become a better writer only with time and practice. Writers are human, like any other people, and no book is perfect. I’ve managed to revise most of mine, and among them is Unabridged, a romantic comedy that was a bestseller at the time of its release in 2015. Back then, the first edition received mixed reviews, and while it got a lot of five-stars, there were plenty of one-star ratings and comments from readers. Some of them were mean for the sake of meanness, but others raised valid points, which in the end helped me make Unabridged a better book.

This year I have finally managed to rewrite it with the help of my great editor, Susanne Matthews, and republished the new edition with a new cover to match.

I was happy about my accomplishment, and naïve enough to talk about it in one of the author groups I am part of. To my surprise, one of the members asked me in a somewhat harsh tone why I had published Unabridged in the first place if I thought it wasn’t that good. Her question took me by surprise, especially since this is an author of average romance with terrible cheap-looking covers (see, I have a mean streak too, but I try to keep it tamed! 😜 ). Anyway, I answered frankly, the way I always do, and told her I published the book because at the time I was proud of my accomplishment, I wanted to share it with the world, and yes, I needed to make money from my writing—because the damn bills won’t pay themselves, no matter how much I sweet talk them. What shocked me the most though was that no one in that group thought of saying a nice word about the fact that I admitted my mistakes, and that I cared so much about what readers thought I decided to rewrite my book.

Some of the reviewers said Unabridged was mean and judgmental, yet here I was, in the real world, among real people, on trial for admitting and fixing a mistake I made. WTH? I certainly did not expect any medals, but I hardly expected to be judged for being less than perfect.

In the end, this was a good lesson regarding the way people think. And although I have read several terrible books lately, some of them from my favorite authors, I decided not to leave any bad reviews. Because I know that writing a book, even a bad one, is a tremendous effort, and I’m in no position to cut off wings I haven’t built. Life is too full of drama as it is, and I agree with Marilyn Monroe: imperfection is beauty. Who wants to be perfect? It must be boring as hell.

Advertisements

My Top 10 Favorite Quotes – Part II

Not very long ago I posted ten of my favorite quotes of all times. But since I read (make that listen to) at least one book every two days, I came across some more interesting things I’d like to share with you guys. So, here are another ten quotes, gathered from here and there, quotes I find very useful and inspiring.

#10: “Life, a good life, a great life is about ‘Why not?’ May we never forget it.” – Danielle Steel

I’m not exactly a big risk taker – quite the opposite – but sometimes we all need advice like this, when we struggle with life-altering decisions.

#9: “Don’t let yourself feel worthless: often through life you will really be at your worst when you seem to think best of yourself; and don’t worry about losing your “personality,” as you persist in calling it: at fifteen you had the radiance of early morning, at twenty you will begin to have the melancholy brilliance of the moon, and The-great-gatsby-magic-main-43when you are my age you will give out, as I do, the genial golden warmth of 4 p.m.” – Scott Fitzgerald

When I read this quote, all I could think was “God, please give me the brilliance to write one day a literary gem as precious and colossal as The Great Gatsby“. I guess I still have some way to go until I’ll reach my 4 a.m. genial golden warmth. 🙂

#8: “As I began to love myself, I stopped craving for a different life and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it MATURITY”. – Charles Chaplin

I’m glad to have discovered that maturity doesn’t mean only wrinkles on our faces, but also wisdom and strength.

#7: “You sort of starting anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.” – J.K. Rowling

I am not a Harry Potter fan, but since this lady is the first author to have become a billionaire thanks to her will and imagination, I take her words to heart. She, as a person, is a great inspiration to me.

#6: “No good deed goes unpunished.”

Though this observation has been attributed to several people, including Oscar Wilde, I first learned of it from my father. One day in my not-so-far-away childhood, we met a beggar on the street who asked for money, and my dad refused to give him any. I asked why, and he said to me: ‘What if I give him money, he goes and buys a bottle, gets drunk and then is hit by a car? Is that a good deed?’. He had a point. Now, as a cynical adult, I hope I can spot a con man from afar, and a person who is really in need of help. Unfortunately, beggary has become a business more profitable than working, thanks to the stupidity (aka kindness) of people who perpetuate this vicious circle. Next time when a big, strong guy asks you for change, tell him to go to work. I did so just today, and the guy was not only revolted, but asked why I was cussing him. :-/

#5: “Being rich is fun, but being poor is more exciting” – Sandra Brown

I confess I still fail to see the exciting part of not being rich, but I guess we all have to start somewhere. I was if Sandra had already made her first million when she wrote this.

#4: “Easy is boring. Who would want to spend their life with easy?” – Nora Roberts

Though I always love a good challenge, sometimes I get tired of them. Don’t you?

#3: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” – The Bible, Matthew 7:7

All of these I discovered to be true, and I have a small addenda: as long as it doesn’t cost anything, try. You can only discover one or more ways to fail, but in the end you’ll find yourself on the right track.

#2: “Everything tells me that I am about to make a wrong decision, but making mistakes is just part of life.” – Paulo Coelho

I could say this is the story of my life. Though I’m an impulsive person by nature, I learned to think and overthink things to death. Yet somehow, there’s always something I haven’t taken into consideration, and taking bad decisions is, willy-nilly, part of my life. But of course, this is what made me come to the same conclusion as Marilyn did, which is my #1 quote and my mantra:

#1: “There’s no such thing as chance. It’s all preordained. Like kismet.”

– Marilyn Monroe –

(46)