A negative review. We’ve all been there, or at least I’d assume so since no one is perfect. The key to overcoming that negative review is all in how you handle it.
I’d be lying if I said it didn’t bother me. I (we) feel attacked personally and that’s never an easy pill to swallow. The truth is, my one bad review ruined my life, for a few days anyhow. I felt the negative words and underlying connotation were unfair, especially since I’d never met the woman. Who was she to judge my work? Where did she get off thinking she knew anything? Didn’t she know how much time I’d spent perfecting that book?!! She was a reader, of course, and the reason why we do what we do. And since I’m being honest, I’ll admit that her review had merit. I didn’t research as much as I should or could have. It seemed trivial to me as the point of my novel was to expose extreme physical abuse, loss and being able to overcome those demons with love, not the setting of where the story took place. Was it important? Of course it was, but I didn’t want the emphasis to be on horses running wild on a ranch while my heroine was getting the crap knocked out of her. (That was the criticism of the review) Apples and oranges. A difference of opinion. And after stomping my feet and throwing a tantrum, I did what all authors eventually learn to do. I got over it.
Before you hit that publish button, or before you send that manuscript off to an agent, be prepared for rejection. Know that not everyone will be in love with what you write as much as you. We all have different tastes, likes and dislikes. It’s what makes the world go round. How boring would it be if we were all the same?
Use that negative review as a learning tool. In my opinion, you can never have too many pointers when it comes to writing. I’m still picking up incredible tips and just when I think I know it all, someone proves me wrong. Read that negative review, as much as it hurts, and take away something that you can use to better your writing. For me, it was research. That review that I threw a tantrum over? Those horrible words that stung me worse than being chased down and attacked by an angry mob of bees? It actually helped me when I wrote my second novel. It fueled a fire in me to do better. I heeded her words and I researched.
Always turn that negative into something positive and keep writing!