I work with middle schoolers. Before that, I worked with preschoolers. Therefore, I have spent the last 20 years saying, “You don’t have to like everybody, and everybody doesn’t have to like you. You just have to be kind.” This has probably come out of my mouth at least three times a day in the two decades, so you’d think I’d have learned it myself.
About two weeks ago, Mad Kestrel received its first unpleasant review, and I let it break my heart. I knew good and well I shouldn’t, that a review is one person’s opinion and not a sweeping denunciation of my skills. I tried reading my good reviews. I attempted to focus on the book I’m finishing. I tried visiting other writers’ reviews (many of whom were savaged way worse than I!) I danced until I was breathless.
Nothing was working. Until I dropped in on Jim Hines‘s Livejournal yesterday. He pointed out that a negative review indicates the book is at least being read by a wide swath of people. Other commenters also pointed out that low-starred reviews are often the ones that convince readers to buy.
It helped. A lot. He gave me a reasonable viewpoint, a way to accept the review without torturing myself about it.
So what have you done to cure yourself of the “yucky review blues”? Or if you’re still waiting for the chance to suffer from them, what do you do to make any kind of blues go away?
And just a reminder… Joshua Palmatier, author of the Throne of Amenkor series, will be guest-blogging here tomorrow. Please come by and check out what wisdom he has to offer!