I know not to go searching out reviews. Truly I do. It was a harsh lesson to learn. With my first published release, the response was wonderfully positive. At least those who left comments really seemed to like it. The second, now that was a whole other can of worms, a love it or hate it situation so I learned very quickly not to look.
Well yesterday I made the mistake of doing a name search. I do this periodically, searching for links where my books might be being pirated. It's a necessary evil of the job and something I know has all ready been discussed here by my fellow Muses. Anyway, as I said, I was doing a search and came across a link I shouldn't have followed. Yes, I'm talking about the dreaded review. Now I've had the typical 5 stars "It's the bestest book ever", the 4 stars "It's great", the 3 stars "Blah", the 2 stars "I just don't get it" but this was my first 1 star (Yah me!).
And what did I get for my one star? An "I would have liked it better if it had been longer" (I'm paraphrasing). Yes, I'm going with sarcasm here. Because it's better than crying.
Please don't take this as a bash on reviews or reviewers. It is not my intention or the reason for this post. They are more than welcome to their opinions. Only I don't need to know them.
Positive reviews are great. They help bolster an author's ego. To know someone out there really gets what we are writing is what keeps us doing what we do. Writing. But the negative reviews, those are the ones that stick with us. They swirl around our heads, buzzing in our ear that what we're writing is crap, that we shouldn't even bother. And the more we swat at them, they louder they buzz until it's the only sound we hear. If we let them.
So how do we fight it? Simple. Don't look. Once the seed has been sown, it's damn impossible to stop it from growing. Just like the crab grass I can't seem to get rid of in my front lawn, it will stifle all creativity for days or possibly even months. Because the truth of the matter is we all want to be liked. Even when logically we understand that is not possible. Not everyone is going to like what I write. Just like I don't like everything I read. But emotionally, it can pierce your soul.
I wish I had answers on how to move on from a bad review but I am just now starting to emerge from a writing funk due to a snarky review from almost a year ago. It didn't totally stop the process, only seriously hindered it.
How do you get over a bad review? Leave a comment and let me know.