Thursday, November 3, 2016

Surviving a Horrific Review

Some people are going to "get" your writing and adore it. Others, not so much. And a few will shout from the rooftops that a three-year-old with a lisp and flippers for arms could write better than you. Why is that?

Because art is subjective.

It's easy to get all mopey-faced when a review rips to shreds the manuscript you slaved over. It feels like a kidney punch. And with the advent of social media and review sites galore, it happens more and more because everyone is a critic. But this is part of the writerly game, folks. How are you going to cope with it? Here are a few suggestions . . .

5 Ways to Survive a Vicious Review

Change your perspective.
A bad review is still a review. Yes, it could keep some readers from buying your book, but if it does, would you really have wanted those readers to buy it in the first place? Probably not, because it likely wouldn't have been their cup of tea either.

Focus on your next project.
I'm all about denial. If you're busy focused on your next manuscript, you won't have time to get super upset about a past one.

High-five yourself for being in such great company.
You're not the only one who's gotten a stinko review. Misery loves company, so here are some negative remarks flung at some of the greats . . .

“It was one of the most boring and shallow books that I have ever read.” —review of the American classic The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

“Not nearly enough consistency and far to [sic] little plot.”—review of Harry Potter And the Half Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling

“If I were you, I’d peruse it briefly at your neighborhood library before putting hard-earned money out.” —review of children’s classic A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Re-read your good reviews.
Say no to the negativity by staking your tent in the positive ones. 

Revisit why you write.
Is the goal of your writing to please everybody all the time? I'm guessing not, and if it is then you have set yourself up for some whoop-butt failure. Anchor yourself in your core values of why you decided to write in the first place.

Bad reviews are going to happen. Know that. Own that. Then let it go.


Robin Mason said...

how do you survive no reviews??? :'( sniff sniff

chappydebbie said...

I know authors who don't even look at their reviews. I don't think I could resist the temptation. Great advice.
Robin: your book is still awaiting my perusal....other books ahead of yours and life have slowed me down a bit. I will get to it, hopefully soon. :-)

Gail Helgeson said...

I think I like being unknown!

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