Do it wrong the first time

brainA brief anatomy lesson: I have a hard time finding a hat that fits, because I was cursed with a freakishly large melon head. Honestly, my neck has to put in overtime to keep my head from sinking down to my shoulders. People only use about 10% of their brains. If my head is bigger, my brain is bigger, ergo, my 10% is bigger than the average homo sapien’s. I should think that I would have a leg up on delicate-framed super models who have to shop for their hats in the children’s section.

It also means that I have more brain cells to devote to self-doubt, fear, and why some people wear their pajamas to Uber-Mart. (You know who you are.) That’s why I’m especially grateful for people who take the time to write reviews for my books.

Objectivity for a writer is about as rare as snakes on a plane. (Don’t believe everything you see at the movies.) Humor is anything but objective. By the time you edit the hell out of your manuscript and re-read it until your eyes bleed, the jokes seem pretty lame. It’s such a relief to get a confirmation from someone other than your mother. I’d like to share a very nice review I received yesterday from Grady Harp, one of the top reviewers at Amazon.

I NEVER DROVE A BULLDOZER: THERE’S A HOLE IN MY BUCKET LIST is not only incredibly hilarious, it also touches on the issues of those of us who are somewhere between declining gonadal function and trying to remember which retirement home has a sale on for the Golden Years.

A good review is a two-edged sword. A nice pat on the back, and the expectation that the next book will win the Pulitzer prize (or at least not suck). When soul-crushing self-doubt has me dragging my feet, I have to keep telling myself that the first draft is supposed to be wrong. Otherwise my brain cells will spontaneously combust with the effort of thinking up excuses not to write that next book.

I don’t think there’s any writer who has never felt insecure about their books. The good news: I won’t be getting the big head anytime soon, or have to invest in a three-man dome tent next time I go hat shopping.

P.S. Take a moment to check out the cool book trailer I made for Box of Rocks on the sidebar (with the butterfly). The plot is a little thin, but the special effects are amazing. I’m thinking Oscar.

7 thoughts on “Do it wrong the first time

  1. Way to go on that super review! I’m confident that you will be receiving many more! I completely understand the self-doubt. It’s one of the factors that has kept me from launching my 2nd book…until now. I’m gonna “just do it” like Nike. And as I write this, I’m actually trying to figure out reasons I should postpone. I just need to turn my brain off for awhile.
    Anywho, I’m very proud of you, my friend!

  2. That second book is always a killer as far as nerves go. I’m confident that Dark Pretense will be amazing, because your writing rocks!

  3. Just what you want to see in Amazon, Karla.

    So I’m not the only one with an oversized head?

      • When I was in the nursery as a newborn, someone stopped by the window to look in, while my parents were there. He remarked on how that kid had the biggest head of everyone there, not knowing the people he said it to were my folks.

  4. How do you get someone at Amazon to review your book? Do they just pick you or do you have to submit your book to them? Anyway congratulations on the review!

    • We asked Grady to review our first anthology, and he offered to review my own books. I think they have a listing somewhere of the top reviewers, and Lin found his name there.

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