Bad reviews… every single writer in the world has them.
Let me preface this by saying I don’t have a ton of reviews for my first series–a very modest amount in fact–but what I do have are positive, uplifting, and everything you want to hear about when you read that someone enjoyed your book. However, because my genre isn’t the hot market right now, I thought…why not see if I can figure out a paranormal series? I’d had an idea brewing for a while and my desire to get ‘in the game’ spurred it on. Pretty soon, I was loving my characters and my story. I knew I had a winner. My editor gets it, loves it. Same with my beta readers. I am on Cloud Nine sending to reviewers believing we are going straight to #1.
I received not one, but TWO two star reviews, and for a good twenty-four hour timeframe all my literary dreams came crashing around me.
Questioning my ability as a writer is nothing new. Every writer I know has been talked down from the ledge of tossing their computer to its death more than once, but yesterday it felt different. It was different. Because up until now, everybody has liked my stories.
And now someone doesn’t. Two someone’s actually.
After much crying to my very supportive friends and family, I’ve come to the conclusion that bad reviews are impossible to avoid. They are a rite of passage for all authors. They shouldn’t be feared, but embraced as a part of living out our dreams because to truly live, you have to take the good with the bad. To avoid less than three star reviews, I would have to give up the only thing that’s ever meant anything to me, and that’s just not a life I’m willing to live.
So what am I going to do? Take a deep breath. Maybe eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food. Possibly read a few of J.K. Rowling’s rejection letters, or Charles Dickens’ one star reviews… and… keep writing.
Always keep writing.