Sticks and Stones

Why is it, as authors, we work so hard to finish this story spilling out in our heads, fearlessly go through countless rejections, rewrites and edits only to quiver in fear of our first review?  And there are some review sites out that make even the most intrepid and successful writer quake in her high heels.

I remember, after the release of More Than Blood, I relentlessly scoured the web for the elusive review and when it finally came I was ecstatic.  Mistress Bella gave me 5 whips! I ran to my husband, jumping up and down. “More Than Blood got 5 whips!”

My confused husband, a bit confused by the contradiction of  my excitement and what sounded like a punishment, asked, “Getting whipped is good?”

Several more followed but with each I would hold my breath as I read, waiting for the slap of a bad review. And it sounds so ridiculous. Why would how many tombstones or cherries or nymphs have such an effect on my perceptions of myself as a writer?

The truth is this; those reviews are readers and what are writers without them.

So, I still scour the web for them and read them with baited breath but I understand, bad or good, they are just one reader’s opinion. They won’t change what I am.

So, sticks and stones my break my bones but bad reviews don’t make me any less of a writer.

4 Responses to “Sticks and Stones”
  1. roseanne says:

    It is scary, isn’t it. I mean those stories are our babies. We labored with them for months, maybe even years. And in one swift swoop, we’re either built up or torn down.
    But you’re right. Those reviews, bad or good, don’t make us any more less of a writer. It’s all a matter of opinion. Maybe the review was done by someone who doesn’t particularly like our genre. Or maybe they just weren’t in the mood to read. Whatever the outcome, we need them.

  2. I’m trying hard not to pay attention to reviews. If I’m happy with the book, that’s all that matters. Although, reviews are like a car wreck–you can’t look away.

  3. Suzanne Rock says:

    Great post Amanda!

    I think you hit the nail on the head. As writers, we slave over our stories and we want everyone to love them as much as we do. Sometimes people do… but sometimes they don’t. You really can’t please everyone all the time. A big part of writing is taking the bad with the good. It’s definitely a roller coaster!

  4. Susan Blexrud says:

    Amanda, so true. And not only are reviews one reader’s opinion, they’re based on that reader’s likes and dislikes that have nothing to do with the quality of your writing. What I’ve found is that some reviews are well written and some sound like a third grader penned them. In spite of some very good third-graders’ reviews, I can’t take them too seriously. I’ve come to rely on a few sites that really do make or break my day, but in the final analysis, they don’t make me a better writer. For that, I rely on my critique group. Thanks for the great post!

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