Good morning all. Kacey here again, on a rainy and dreary Saturday in Ontario. A tad chilly and damp. I hope the day lightens up, I have a birthday party for an 8 year old I am attending today and I want some sunshine!
Today, I wanted to write about reviews and motivation. A friend of mine wrote me a couple weeks ago, very down on a negative review she’d received. It’s unfortunately part of the business. Good reviews are absolutely fantastic, but with every great review comes at least one or two bad reviews.
Reviews are subjective. And they come in the following shapes and sizes … the good, the bad & the ugly. LOL
Everyone has an opinion about things, from books to movies to appliances, but we’ll stick with books. Every story can be read by a group of ten people and they will all have a different opinion about the same story. The plot can bother half of the group, the character development can bother another part, hell the dialogue could bother them all – but they’ll all have strong words about everything. As an author, you have to have thick skin in this business. I know my fellow authors on this blog have touched base on that before, and I agree with them.
For me though, as a review for a lot of years (it’s how I started in this business), I appreciate and understand both sides. And it’s what keeps me from diving off the deep end of the pool, so to speak, if I receive a not so glowing review or two. But I wanted to share how I deal with the good and the bad. We all have to find our own ways of dealing with things, and this is what I do…
I print out negative reviews along with those fabulous glowing reviews. I use them for motivation, and I do listen to the coherent, well written and intelligent not-so-great reviews because as I said above, everyone has an opinion. And I use the “good” out of the negative reviews in order to grow as an author. I’ll listen to what reviewers believe was wrong/didn’t work in my story and keep that info in the back of my mind to develop other stories better. But remember, I use the words — coherent, well written and intelligent — from the reviewers. If it’s a well done review with some decent feedback, I’ll pay attention. If it’s a crap review of just derogatory comments or personal attack, I wave it off as someone that really shouldn’t be reading the books s/he is reading and that they simply do not like my stories. Unfortunately, we have to take the good with the bad.
And with the good reviews, those wonderfully glowing “I love your goddamn book, give me more please” reviews, I’m all over those babies and loving hard on them. LOL I do print out many of them and use them for motivation as well – to keep doing what I am doing because I do have a readership who loves my work and that’s who I am writing for – that readership and myself.
We cannot please everyone. That is one of the first rules to learn in this business. It’s impossible to write stories that hit the home run out of the park for every reader. It just is. We must write the best story that we can, giving it 200%, and hope that it hits the mark for as many readers as possible. We write because we love it. We write for ourselves first and foremost, or at least I do (I can’t speak for all authors), and we do it all with passion and determination to create gold with our words.
With reviews, keep in mind that they are subjective and they are a part of the business. Use them for good, motivate yourself to be constantly growing and learning. Keep your binder of reviews – good and bad *g* — to look back on when you’re having a crappy writing day, or when you just want to bask in the glory of awesome reviews for your work. I promise, either way, you’ll learn and you’ll be motivated to keep typing on and creating stories/worlds that your readership will love.
On a closing note, one of my favourite comments about my work that I’ve heard from a reader, one I actually printed out and framed, sits on my desk, it reminds me to keep going on those bad days we all have. This is what every author wishes to hear…
Until next week,