Everyone is entitled to their opinion…

And you are going to have to deal with it.

If you’re writing anything that is going to be published, be it traditional or self, you’re going to have to deal with people and their opinions.

First things first.  Not everyone will like your story.

Deal with that now so it doesn’t come back to bite you in the ass later. You’re going to get some nasty reviews at times. And that’s okay. Some people are just going to be “Haters.” Let those roll off of your back. Don’t respond to them and don’t ever try to retaliate.

I guarantee you that for every “Hater” you get, there will be someone else raving about how good you are. Don’t dwell on it. Just move on.

Beyond the people who either love or hate your story, you will find those in the middle. The ones who like your story but feel they need to add their two cents in. Their comments usually follow along this line.

I liked it but….
“You could have done ____”
“I wanted to know more about ____”
“Next time you should ____”

Those reviews can often bother you more than the reviews from people who hated your book. Why? Because with “hater” reviews you can say to yourself, “Well they are entitled to hate it. It’s a free country.” Or something along those lines.

With the “I liked it but...” reviews, you’re left feeling you somehow failed. If you had given it just a little more, it might have been perfect.

The reader is publicly telling you why your book isn’t perfect. These readers, in a sense, make you feel that you should have come to them for advice first before your manuscript went to print (virtual or paper).

Your first thoughts are…  “They don’t know how long I spent writing the story. They have no clue how many times my work went through the revision process. They don’t know about my critiquing groups. They don’t know that my editor made cuts and suggestions.”

These are the reviews that sting a bit. And it is very tempting to fall into the mindset of…

“Opinions are like assholes. Everyone’s got one and they all stink.”

But don’t look at them as a bad thing. Sure these people are probably not writers, but they are readers and usually your target audience. Remember that!

Try to overlook the hurt you feel and focus on the good advice offered.

If they say the action was a little slow, look for ways to speed things up on the next go around.

If they say the love scenes were a little flat, pick up a few romance books for “research” and see what makes their scenes so good. Try and incorporate what you have learned in the next story you write.

Bottom line… don’t let reviews get you down.

You’re a writer, so write and always work to be better!

Comments

Jessica Nelson said…
Very good post! I'm not looking forward to negative reviews, but you're right, every writer goes through this.
Hope everything is going well with you!
Katie S said…
Thank you Jessica! Things are going well around here. How about you?
Steve Morris said…
Good article. Think of the most succesful artists in the world (who you may well adore) and I'm sure you can think of people who absolutely hate them. Like politics, this is often just a hatred based on "personality" rather than "policy". However for someone who has (say) five good reviews, one hater can seem like a lot.
Steve Morris