Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Writer Wednesday--The GOOD, the BAD, & the UGLY of Reviews

I still remember where I stood when the heavy emotions from my first bad review hit me.  I nearly doubled over and vomited.  It took some time and practice, but they don't bother me anymore.  If you've chosen a career as an author, inevitably, someone somewhere is going to hate what you write.  And that's okay.  I read things that I think are pointless or poorly written and so do you.  When you get a bad review, you have to know what to do with the GOOD, the BAD, and the UGLY.

Take the GOOD.  Soak it up.  Savor it.  Agree with it.  Tell your friends and family about it. Post it on your blog and your facebook page. Smile secretly to yourself in the shower as you think of the kind words people said about your book.  Type up a few reviews and hang them on the wall above your computer.  Frame them if you'd like.  Celebrate the good!  People out there love your book!

Learn from the BAD.  Ponder over the less than good.  Decide whether you agree with it or not.  Be honest.  You can do it.  Learn to implement into your writing the free tips that come from constructive criticism.  Be grateful for it.  Be humbled by it, because as we all know, a writer with a big head just isn't pretty.

Throw the UGLY out the window.  Seriously.  Print it out, crinkle it up, rip it up, burn it, bury it, slip it inside a helium-filled balloon and watch it float away.  Choose your method of destruction.  If someone says something ugly about you or your writing, they are not a good reviewer.  Chances are, they're not even a legitimate reviewer.  And the chances are even greater that something terrible has happened in their life and they need therapy.  Maybe their potty-training dog kept leaving his mark every time they sat down to read your book.  It doesn't matter; UGLY is UGLY, no matter where it came from and you don't need it.

Cinder and Ella has been out for three months now and I no longer have the desire to read reviews.  The time and need has passed for me to be interested in what people are saying about my book.  Love it or hate it, I wrote it and it's awesome.  If you've written a book, you're awesome, no matter what anybody else says, GOOD, BAD, or UGLY.

What helps you get through a bad review?


Grandma R. said...

I love you!

ephrielle said...

Wow, I was stunned to see your face when I was blog hopping. I had no idea you were writing books, but then how would I since it has been a long time. You will officially be the first author I know. I am so excited for you. And good for you not to be intimidated by bad reviews. Very healthy attitude. But then being a book blog reviewer I encourage authors not to get mad at me when I don't like their book. I can't really help it. I like what I like. Anyway, we used to be in the same ward as kids. That probably doesn't help much but this is the internet. Congrats!
Hope, Love, and Happy Endings