When They Chew You Up and Spit You Out, Just Be Glad They Didn’t Swallow

Praying mantis

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Have you ever written a page or even a paragraph and as you wrote you were certain in your heart of hearts that this piece was some of your finest work? If Hemingway, Fitzgerald, or H. G. Wells himself could have read this single page in their day, I am convinced that nary the three would have dared to put pencil to paper ever again for fear of substandard work in comparison. Then, as you backtrack to read the stellar work you have just produced, you realize that a third grader has somehow entered your article through a secret backdoor and rewritten your magnificent page.

 Or, have you ever written a piece that reinforced the notion that your writing skills were actually that of a third grader, only this time when you reluctantly began to reread, now there seemed to be a possibility that you were one big ball of benevolence–a gift to the literary world?

  After the highs and the lows, you settle into your latest project, enjoying each word, sentence, and paragraph.

 Then comes the reviews…

 Oh, you’ll revel in the adoring four and five-star reviews. Just don’t let the ones and twos, pull you down.

 My first suggestion in surviving reviews is to eat foods which promote growth in the outer layers of the epidermis as thick skin will become necessary in order to survive the onslaught of negativity and rejection you will no doubt have to face.

 I’ve had reviews that lifted my head above the clouds and with the same book, a review that ripped me to shreds. It bordered on a personal attack; all from the organizer of a book club that I gave a book to in the first place.

 It reminds me of our friends in the animal kingdom, the “praying mantis.” During the mating season when the male and female come together (the female being the larger of the two), they engage in an elaborate dance of love before the big event.

 I can imagine the thoughts of the smaller brown male. Wow! What a big green hot momma! She sure got some kinda six sexy legs; that pretty face; those emerald eyes; and man oh man, what a thorax! I sure do hope that she doesn’t have a boyfriend.

 And the female’s thoughts:

 He sure is cute and looks to be right strong. I wonder if he’s got a job. He’ll have to call in sick on Monday. She gives him a wink and he saunters over. They dance the night away, and then finally comes copulation.

 They both sigh a long breath of satisfaction. The male lights a cigarette and the female chews his head off.

 Oh well, just like writing, it’s one more thing that comes with the territory.

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