The Beard will not approve some of this content, but it’s what’s going on in my head. I received another bad review. Seriously, I don’t dwell. I spend more of my time convincing the Beard that it’s okay. Not everyone will like the book. I don’t like every book I read. Granted, this review was a bit nasty and acerbic. Makes me wonder if I did something to this guy in the past or past life. Shrug.

Some best-selling novels grate my teeth. Even my favorite authors have written books I’ve felt ambivalent about. I don’t write scathing reviews. If I consider the book that bad, there’s nothing gained in trashing an author. They’ve written a book. It’s a huge risk.

Rather than obsess over a bad review, it’s drawn to mind a couple of things about writing with which I’ve struggled.

I participated in a critique group for the first time after I finished the manuscript of The Esau Emergence. The group contained a spark of magic. Everything about finding the group clicked into place and the collection of writers, whew. I’m blown away by the talent and caliber of the writing. Over time, the company disbanded for one reason or another and I’m reluctant to participate in another lot of writers because I don’t want to be disappointed. One of our merry band recently wrote a blog post about the struggle between writing what might sell and writing the stories in her head. Bears, Cows and Flies, Oh My. My opinion is write what you write. Put it out there with sincerity, craft and conviction. Good stories will resonate and with hope, sell.

Any writing for the public is a terrifying, soul exposing prospect. I repeat this advice. “Understand the writing is a moment that passed through you and you were alert enough to capture it.” I’m paraphrasing Natalie Goldberg. Here’s another, “Dive into absurdity. You will succeed if you’re fearless of failure.” Write and then write some more. Yes, there were/are some typos in the second edition. We wrestled with editors and editing challenges. Rather than dither and debate, we decided to put the book out. I’ve had the fortune of working with another great resource and am polishing the third edition in preparation for the sequel, The Esau Convergence.

I have, count ‘em, five different novels in the works and I will write them. Whether I’ll deem them worth putting out there….I don’t know. I will take the poor reviews with a grain. I will enjoy the good reviews for the moment I read them and then I’ll go back to work. I like a good book and I’m fully capable of recognizing one, even if I wrote it. The Esau Continuum isn’t Pulitzer Prize material. It’ a good read.

I don’t know if there’s a Pulitzer novel in me. I write because I like my characters. I enjoy the story and the science absolutely fascinates me. I’m proud of my book. I’m a good writer and I can’t waste time dwelling on the cobwebbed, spindly criticisms that may come my way. It’s never been my style and I’m certainly not going to start now.

I love to write and I’ve shed my fear of putting it out there for you to read. No matter who nay says, it’s a process that I love. I’m writing and writing some more.