I broke one of my New Year’s resolutions, not to respond to controversial topics. Geez, that didn’t take long. I had to post a comment on Romancing the Blog’s column about reviews. I swore to myself, don’t get involved. Ever. And I jumped off the cliff, like a sheep. Baaaaaa.
I had to comment because I see both sides, as a reader and an author. Reading is subjective. I don’t care if you graduated summa cum laude from the University of Reviewing. I don’t care if you’ve been reviewing for years. A review is just that, your opinion.
Let’s get one fact straight. Nasty reviews hurt. Any author who tells you they don’t is lying. It does hurt when someone slashes and pokes fun at your creation. Been there. Done that. Ouch.
Bad reviews are like rejections. It’s life. It will happen. You’re not going to change it. You cringe, lick your wounds, and move on. Or if you find something funny and useful, like I did with the Mrs. Giggles review, you use it.
Because if you dwell on them, it’s going to really hurt you where it counts most. It will detract from your writing. You’ll spend all your precious writing time musing over your reviews.
My editor a long ago gave me great advice. He told me to listen to what readers are saying, but never let them influence my writing. Because he knew what I’ve finally found out. In the end, you have to write for yourself. Write to please everyone, and you’ll burn out, quick.
My writing is me. Words gurgling up from the darkness of my subconscious, my twisted and delightful imagination. Not everyone will like it. Some will. Some won’t. But essentially, it’s irrevocably, undeniably me. Five stars, one star, think what you will. I’m sticking with what I love.
That's my story. Enough on this. I need to write. I have a book to grind out, more grist for the bad review mill. ;-)