Sunday, February 10, 2013

Reviews

Anyone who hasn't had a bad review of their work doesn't fully understand the stress that comes with being a writer. I recently had one of these reviews. And it seriously made me doubt that what I had put years into was even worth it.

It's bad enough that we pour out our blood and sweat and tons of tears into our work without a single affirming word from anyone saying, "what a swell job you're doing" or "though you haven't made a penny of your writing in years, your work is truly great."

And we continue to pour away because we are called to write. We can't live without doing that.

This particular negative review of my work, The Puzzle Master, was like a slap in the face, with a punch to the gut, and then just when I thought it was over, a blind-sided karate chop to the back of the legs.

I questioned if her negative review of my work was valid.

I questioned my abilities as a writer.

I wondered if indeed the last eighteen years of college and writing had been a waste of time.

I finally got over me. And wanting to smash in the face of this reviewer.

And a few months later, I got two awesome, glowing reviews.

Here's what I learned from all of this.

1. Don't take reviews seriously. It's SUBJECTIVE. What some people love, others will hate. Just how it is. Reviews are what they are-- reviews. Doesn't mean I'm a great writer, or a lousy one either. Just take the review and move on.

2. I chose to be a writer, chose to put my work out there, so I have to expect major dislike.

3. When bad things happen, drink coffee. Duh.

Was it Bill Cosby who said something to the effect, "I don't know the steps to success, but I do know the steps to failure is trying to please everyone." Oh yes indeed!

So there it is. People will like your work, some people will not like your work. Oh well. We aren't here to please everyone.

A good writer-friend (good writer and good friend) of mine, Lara, once said, "Writing prepares you for parenting: neither one receives any affirmation." So true. This is a genius line. (Lara, told you I'd steal it!)

Having said all of that, reviews can be full of life, uplifting and also give you the affirmation you've been looking for. So, regardless of reviews, whether bad or good, or neither, keep writing!

**To celebrate the one year anniversary of my book, The Puzzle Master, in digital form, will be free the 15th and 16th of February!**