I’m startled by the amount of power in the hands of others holding sway over our fate. As writers, the fate of our passion is in the hands of others, whether seeking agents and traditional publishing or going the self-publishing route. It’s either the subjective tastes of agents and editors or the foibles and prejudices of readers. For some reason, we all decided our words piled into a mesh of sentences, paragraphs, and narrative are worthy of the effort and time of other people. We think that Frankenstein’s monster of language should be in the hand of others.
Not saying it’s arrogance or folly, but this is what we do. A story comes to us, a muse’s whisper or a contrived inspiration, and we know it needs sharing. Insular and isolated, that kernel burrows in the fertile soil of our hearts and minds. We cultivate and water the idea and put in countless hours crafting that kernel into a crop of beautiful prose and plot. We know, in our insecurity, that the scrutiny we inflicted on it will pale to the experience of seeming futility of giving it an audience.
With any art, the artist gives value to an idea with their time and suffering to bring into reality. No matter how much we love it and view it as a valuable asset, we do not get to set the final value of our art, never. Its value is decided by its audience. The hands of others are the jury of the value of our art. It’s a hard fact to submit to. That is the bitterness of creative endeavors that no matter the skill, craft, and talent applied, the artist is not the final voice. That is in the hands of others.