Most of the time my wife proofs my blogs – she also does the first proofing of all my novels. While writing my first murder mystery, Evil in the Mirror, she would proof whatever I had written on any given day so that the work wouldn’t pile up to the point where she would have to spend hours doing the job.
Why she continues doing this for me is a direct result of her love for murder mysteries, and her love for me. I would go into a major tailspin every time we would sit down so I could review her reviews…I took every little change badly and personally. I think it is called a hissy fit or tantrum; in either case, I can’t imagine how she put up with it.
I would even go off if she corrected a misspelled word. My position was that it’s my book and I’ll write like I want to (sing to Leslie Gore’s 1965 song, “It’s My Party and I’ll Cry if I Want To”). Knowing that I was the world’s worst spelling on the planet didn’t matter either – damn it, I am the author. It was akin to saying, I am the King. The truth was that I couldn’t take criticism and not being able to do that is death to an author’s writing, having friends and quite possibly, his or her marriage.
Over the years, 1200 or so blogs and five books later, we can still fence a little while she is proofing something I wrote, but I keep it light and we don’t fight. The whole process of being an author, publishing books and taking it in the shorts by Amazon has a tendency to bring even the most arrogant, wanabe author to their knees.
Being a legend in your own mind is counterproductive if you are serious about being an author. In fact, I have found teaching others about all the pitfalls they will encounter while trying to write and publish their work is also a learning experience. Teaching others is not only one of the best ways to learn, it is also a good way to tame the ego. Ego is the enemy and it needs to be vanquished early in your writing career. Say goodbye to “self” and say hello to being a great writer and good person.