Do you know this little prayer?
God, grant me the serenityMy grandma used to have this on the wall in her hallway (maybe she still does? I'm not sure), which is where I remember reading it when I was a little girl. And whether or not you personally believe in a God who may grant you these things, it's hard to argue with the basic sentiment. Some stuff, you can and should change. Some, you can't or shouldn't. It's not always easy to know which is which.
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
I've been thinking about this lately in the context of my writing. I've been getting loads of great feedback on my novel (from friends and strangers alike), and it's fascinating to compare the notes from different people.
I'm always delighted (yes, genuinely) when someone picks me up on a point of credibility or realism. Factual stuff is easy to fix, and definitely worth the effort, every time.
But I was blindsided recently when someone said they didn't like my style.
That's pretty fundamental. And, since I'm someone who will ignore even elementary mistakes of spelling and grammar in a book if the plot is strong enough, it came as a shock to me that someone would stop reading because of something stylistic.
The more I thought about it, though, the more I realised that I'm being silly. Not everyone has the same tastes, which is just as well, because life would be terribly boring if we did. I even know a few people who don't like chocolate! (Which is, if I'm honest, completely beyond my comprehension.) So for any given style of writing, there will be some people who don't get on with it.
My writing style is definitely in the set of "things I cannot change". Some people won't like it; I can't change that either. And that's okay.
Serenity resumed. Thank you, God...