There is a seemingly endless list of reasons why writers are neurotic (and no, I don't think it's because the writing profession appeals to naturally neurotic people). This is just the first reason I'm discussing, and is by no means the main or primary one.
Reason #1: THE SUBJECTIVE NATURE OF ALL CREATIVE ARTS
I learned this hard lesson in 7th grade art. One of our projects was to do a pen and ink drawing of a house. I drew the most beautiful house, with a long winding path and a yard landscaped with fluffy bushes and trees. It was perfect. I adored it. My parents framed it and hung it on their wall. My teacher gave me an 80/100.
Our next project was a watercolor painting of a magazine still life. I hate watercolors with a passion (mainly because I'm not very good) and I'd rather use acrylics, colored pencils, or chisel on a stone tablet. But, being a dutiful student, I carefully selected a photo depicting a plate of sliced vegetables (which I also hate, but that's another issue). I recreated it in watercolor to the best of my ability. It was still crap. It was one of the most hideous things I've ever created. I wanted to burn it. My teacher gave me a 100/100.
No, I'm not exaggerating.
Was one of us right and one of us wrong? No. I preferred my pen and ink house (and so do my parents, who still have it hanging on their wall) and she preferred the watercolor. It's a matter of personal taste.
And so it goes with books (or movies or music or basket weaving). As a writer, you create something to suit your tastes and probably (hopefully) your editor's tastes. If you're lucky, this will also suit the tastes of a decently sized audience. Does that mean everyone who ever reads your book is going to love it? Of course not. That's just not mathematically possible. There will always be a portion of the population who hates heroines named Jane or stories set in Texas or books written by women or whatever.
Can you do anything about it? No.
And that's Reason #1 Why Writers Are Neurotic. We send our creative work (bits of our heart and soul) out into the big wide world, knowing that some people are going to give it a B- when you know it deserves an A+.
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